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China: Insurance asset management to see reform in 6 areas

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Aug 2017

China Regulation Wealth Management

Insurance asset management in China is likely to see reform in six areas, according to Mr Cao Deyun, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of the Insurance Asset Management Association of China (IAMAC).
   Delivering the keynote address at the FT China Insurance Summit held in Beijing in June, he outlined the reforms to be:
  1. a shift to more market orientation;
  2. increased professionalism;
  3. more product development including more product diversification;
  4. a shift towards investment banking activities, such as offering investment advice;
  5. more internationalisation, with asset allocation by Chinese insurance asset managers becoming more globalised; and
  6. increased digitisation, including the adoption of artificial intelligence.
   Mr Cao said that one challenge for insurance asset managers at present is that there are inadequate financial tools to manage long-term funds. 
   To ease the challenge, insurers could place more investments in the retirement and healthcare sectors, he said.
   Mr Cao also said that the quality of insurance companies’ assets is high. “So far, we have not found large quantities of non-performing assets,” he said, adding that more than 80% of assets of insurance companies are deposited with banks or invested in listed companies, mainly blue chips.
   At the end of April, China’s insurance companies had assets of around CNY16 trillion (US$2.4 trillion). A 
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