Insurance firms aim for more listings

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-12-07 16:20

"The intermediary market maintains sound development, and is in a good order," said an insurance intermediary market report by CIRC in early November. "The greater than 80 percent proportion shows that intermediary companies have been the major sales channel for insurance policies."

Chairman of CIRC Wu Dingfu told reporters this month that China's premiums would hit 700 billion yuan this year, which would be 2.3 times more than in 2002. It demonstrates the huge growth potential insurance intermediaries still boast.

In addition, intermediary companies' strong networks also increase their appeal to investors. Once established, the network could also be used to sell other products and services.

In addition to CNinsure, other insurance intermediary companies mulling listing plans include: Jiangtai Insurance Broker Co, China Concord, Shenzhen Mintaian Insurance Surveyors Co and Mingya Insurance Broker Co.

The top management of Huakang Financial, an insurance intermediary that received $25 million from VC company IDG, also said that it planned to launch its IPO on the NASDAQ in 2009.

According to an insurance intermediary market report published by CIRC in August, the insurance regulator, for the first time, encourages qualified insurance intermediaries to launch IPOs and become financed by all types of capital.

Wang Jian, director of the intermediary supervision department of CIRC, told reporters that the regulator's move was intended to standardize the industry and promote the development of good companies.

"After the listing, insurance intermediary companies will not only be supervised by CIRC but also by the China Securities Regulatory Commission and investors, making their business operations and information releases more transparent," Wang said.

"Meanwhile, some of the companies are trying chain store management models and other innovations, which call for more capital support, which could be provided by listings," he added.

Insurance intermediary companies' assets totaled 7.53 billion yuan by September, up 4.15 percent over the second quarter, CIRC report said.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)

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