A China Life salesman explains details of insurance policies to customers in this file photo.
China Life Pension Co, an affiliate of the country's largest insurer China Life Insurance Co, set up its first branch in Shanghai yesterday, to vie for market share in the city's fast-growing corporate annuities business.
Beijing-based China Life Pension won approval to establish the subsidiary from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) in May, after obtaining a license to manage corporate annuity accounts in November 2007.
"We have over 3,500 clients to cumulatively gain 48 billion yuan ($7.02 billion)in the corporate pension business in the country," said Wang Jian, chairman of China Life Pension, at the branch opening ceremony.
Wang said the Shanghai government's intention to develop its insurance sector, coupled with the city's large pool of insurance talent, will provide more business potential for China Life Pension, which was established in January 2007 with 2.5 billion yuan in registered capital and 35 agents across the nation.
By the end of 2008, there were 101 insurance companies and 45 representative offices of foreign insurers in the city employing 80,000 professionals. Shanghai's insurance premiums income totaled 60 billion yuan last year.
"China Life Pension has entered Shanghai much later than its major rivals. It has a very small piece of the market after Ping An and Changjiang Pension, but its growth rate has been robust," said Xiao Chaohu, an analyst at Everbright Securities in Shanghai.
China Life Pension gained 5.4 billion yuan in premium income from the corporate pension sector in 2008, over 71 times higher than the previous year, but it only accounted for 1.7 percent of its total premium revenue.