State-owned China Re has received official authorisation from Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority to carry out reinsurance business in and from the city.
The wholly-owned subsidiary is called China Reinsurance Hong Kong (China Re Hong Kong) and has a paid-up capital of HK$2 billion (US$256.7 million). Regulatory approval from the IA should be given by the end of the year.
The authorisation will allow the subsidiary to leverage China Re’s established relationships in Hong Kong; and advance core areas of risk management and life reinsurance financing.
Ratings agency S&P Global noted: “[China Re Hong Kong] will benefit from the parent group’s product strategy and actuarial expertise. The entity’s local presence [will] facilitate better outreach to its clientele through the provision of comprehensive life reinsurance products.”
China Re’s subsidiaries include China Re P&C, China Re Life, China Continent Insurance, China Re Asset, Huatai Services, Chaucer, CNIP and Overseas Agencies; focusing on P&C reinsurance, primary P&C insurance, life reinsurance and asset management.
The reinsurer is the first Chinese firm to be set up in Hong Kong since the establishment of China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
In recent years, China Re has showed off its growth strategy and international ambitions – 2018 saw the firm acquire specialty Lloyd’s insurer Chaucer for US$950 million, in a noteworthy deal. This year, China Re and Chaucer teamed up with Lloyd’s syndicates to launch apolitical violence cover facility;and signed amemorandum of understandingwith Spanish giant Mapfre for joint coverage of Belt and Road (BRI) projects.
With the state push for BRI projects worldwide and its Greater Bay Area initiative in southern China, expect to see more global and cross-border moves from China Re.