China Merchants Group Renhe Life Insurance (CMG Renhe Life) has opened its doors for business, eight months after it received the CIRC's approval for its licence.
The opening ceremony was held on 19 August, 141 years to the date that the first Chinese-owned insurer Renhe Insurance started operations. State-owned China Merchants Group, established in 1872 by the Qing government, created Renhe Insurance in 1875 to engage in shipping insurance.
CMG Renhe Life, headquartered in Qianhai in Shenzhen which lies in the southern province of Guangdong, has mapped out a three-stage plan to build its business. The insurer plans to start off in Shenzhen, expand to the rest of Guangdong in its second year and move out to the rest of the country in the third year. Under Chinese regulations, a new insurer is allowed to operate in the province in which it is registered for the first two years of business.
CMG Renhe's General Manager Mr Peng Wei told the local media that the insurance market in Guangdong Province (excluding Shenzhen) is worth more than CNY200 billion (US$30 billion) a year while that of Shenzhen alone is worth more than CNY100 billion.
Mr Peng said that the life insurer would focus on protection and long-term insurance plans. It is eyeing the healthcare and elderly care sectors too.
Mr Peng said that the insurer will leverage its shareholders for distribution. CMG Renhe Life has several heavyweight shareholders. Apart from China Merchants Group which is a conglomerate with interests including banking, securities and funds, the other shareholders include China Mobile, a giant telecom group; TravelSky Technology which provides information technology solutions to the air travel and tourism industries; Shenzhen Investment Group, and Qianhai Financial Holdings, among others.