China to Allow First Joint Venture Insurance-Asset Management Company

ICBC Ansheng Asset Management approval follows proposal to expedite opening of insurance industry.

The Chinese government’s China Banking Insurance Corporation (CBIC) has officially approved the establishment of ICBC Ansheng Asset Management Co., Ltd. by ICBC Ansheng Life. It is reportedly the first joint venture insurance asset management company that has been approved since China recently proposed expediting the opening up of its insurance industry.

ICBC Ansheng Asset Management Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ICBC Ansheng Life and is registered in Shanghai. The business scope of the company includes the renminbi and foreign currency funds; the management and use of its own renminbi and foreign currency funds; the development of insurance asset management product business, and other businesses approved by the CBIC, and other departments of China’s State Council.

The new company is part of a joint venture between between French insurance firm AXA, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

According to Ma Jian, chairman of ICBC Ansheng Life Insurance, the investment scale of ICBC Ansheng Life Insurance has reached RMB100 billion ($15.7 billion), and it initiated the preparation for the creation of ICBC Ansheng Asset Management Corp.  He said in a release that the main purpose is to comply with the development trend of asset management in the insurance industry, increase the professionalization level of insurance funds utilization, improve the efficiency of fund utilization, and broaden the use of funds. 

Following the establishment of ICBC Ansheng Asset Management Co., Ltd., Ma said it will effectively improve the investment ability of ICBC Ansheng Life Insurance, and enhance the company’s market competitiveness. At the same time, he said ICBC Ansheng Asset Management Company will make better use of insurance funds to serve the real economy.

In the investment process, ICBC Ansheng Asset Management will also make full use of the shareholders’ sophisticated risk management and control system to control investment risks, said Ma.

Last month, during a keynote speech at the Boao Forum in Hainan, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized his support for opening up markets and regional economic integration.

 “The focused endeavor in national development and unwavering commitment to reform and opening-up of the Chinese people have brought enormous changes to the country,” Xi said. “We champion independence and self-reliance while embracing openness and win-win cooperation,” he said, adding that “Our efforts to open up our minds have advanced side by side with our endeavor of reform and opening-up.” 

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