Tuesday, June 9, 2009

HSBC gets approval to launch venture in China

Europe's biggest bank HSBC Holdings has received regulatory approval to launch an insurance joint venture in China, as part of its effort to boost income from insurance.

HSBC and Beijing-based National Trust Ltd will each hold 50 percent of the new company, which will have a registered capital of 500 million yuan ($73 million), funded equally by both shareholders, HSBC said on Tuesday.

Named HSBC Life Insurance Co Ltd, it will open for business in the third quarter.

HSBC said in 2006 it wanted its insurance business to contribute 20 percent of group profit within about five years, up from about 10 percent at that time.

That growth would be driven by organic growth, joint ventures and possibly acquisitions, it said.

The new China venture will offer a range of life, pensions and medical insurance and employ both an agency sales force and bancassurance partnerships as channels for distributing its products, HSBC said.

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