Zurich Financial buys $420m of Chinese insurer

09:50, October 28, 2010      

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Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services AG said it would purchase shares in New China Life Insurance Co (NCI) worth around $420 million as it seeks to benefit from China's fast-growing insurance sector, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Zurich said on Wednesday it would buy up to 280 million shares at 10 yuan ($1.50) with the aim of maintaining its current stake of 20 percent in NCI.

"Our decision to participate in NCI's share issue reflects our belief that China's fast-growing insurance sector represents an attractive investment opportunity," said Zurich chief executive Martin Senn, adding China planned to develop the country's insurance market further.

Zurich first bought into the unlisted Chinese insurer in 2000, it said, adding its investment was $131 million as of end-June 2010.

NCI had gross written premiums of $9.6 billion in 2009 and a 9.3 percent share of the Chinese life insurance market as of June 2010, Zurich said. "In addition to our investment in NCI, we continue to focus on building our own insurance business in this important growth market," Senn said.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

(Editor:石希)

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