Deyang– Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (MSL), a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Financial and the Official Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has announced the grand opening of its Deyang Sales Office, Sichuan province.
Manulife-Sinochem set up its first branch office in Sichuan in August 2006 – just before the company’s 10th anniversary of operations in China. Prior to MSL establishing itself as the first foreign-invested JV life insurance company in China, its foreign parent company, Manulife Financial, had already set up an operation there and is regarded as one of the earliest foreign financial companies to have an office in this province. Earlier this month, the company was granted a license to also open a new sales office in Nanchong.
“We are excited to begin operations in Deyang as it marks an important step in our business development in western China,” said Mr. Marc Sterling, Chairman of Manulife-Sinochem. “Thanks to support from government supervisors and local people, we are building our presence in this province and we look forward to offering our extensive portfolio of premium insurance and financial products and services to individuals and businesses in Deyang.”
Deyang is one of the nine biggest cities of Sichuan Province and is China’s national equipment manufacturing base. In 2006, the GDP of Deyang was RMB 53.92 billion and the average income of citizens was RMB 9150. From January to May of 2007, Deyang’s total insurance premiums were RMB 648.17 million1, the third highest city in Sichuan Province.
“As an important city in western China, Deyang has seen steady growth in its insurance industry,” commented Mr. James Lin, President of MSL. “We look forward to becoming a significant employer in the area, offering rewarding career opportunities to skilled, local professionals.”
Having recently made a special appearance at Manulife’s Olympic Baby Day Camp in Shanghai, Olympic Taekwondo gold medalist and Manulife-Sinochem’s Olympic ambassador, Luo Wei said: “I congratulate Manulife-Sinochem on this significant day for the Company. Their mission to be the best at what they do is one with which many Olympic athletes identify. The announcement is a tribute to the hard work and determination of the Manulife-Sinochem team and I wish them continued success in the future.”
Experiencing rapid geographical and product expansion
In November 2002, Manulife-Sinochem received the first Branch license granted to a foreign-invested joint venture insurance company. Under the lifted geographical restrictions for foreign insurers by the Chinese Government, as part of its commitment to the World Trade Organization, Manulife-Sinochem has since received many new licenses that are permitting the rapid expansion of its business.
In January 2005, CIRC granted Manulife-Sinochem license to significantly enhance its current product portfolio to include Group Life and Health and non-tax benefit Pension business, bringing its business scope in line with that of domestic insurers.
“We have already rolled out our Group Life and Health insurance to many provinces and once a number of pension regulations are in place, we will also use this opportunity to increase our presence in the China marketplace,” said Mr. Lin.
Today, Manulife-Sinochem’s 6,000-strong staff and agency force serve more than a quarter of a million customers across all cities where it operates.
Olympic sponsorship enhancing brand in competitive marketplace
“Proudly, Manulife-Sinochem is the Official Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” said Mr. Lin. “This is a very exciting time for Beijing, for China, and for our Company – we are thrilled to be a part of this special event and the Olympic spirit that is driving the development of Beijing, ultimately showcasing it as the magnificent city it is, to the rest of the world.”
“Our corporate sponsorship dollars go toward supporting the dedicated individuals of China, who train long and hard to achieve the excellence that qualifies them for the world’s largest and most recognized sports competition. Similarly, we, too, strive to be the ‘best’ in our industry,” said Mr. Lin.
“Manulife-Sinochem shares the Olympic attributes of top performance and striving to be the best,” added Mr. Lin. “As the exclusive Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, we hope to communicate to our new stakeholders in Deyang that we, too, stand for the excellence that has long been associated with the Olympic ideals.”
Manulife-Sinochem is a joint venture company between Manulife (International) Limited (51 per cent) and China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company, a member of the Sinochem group (49 per cent).
China Foreign Economic and Trade Trust & Investment Company (FOTIC) is a core enterprise of Sinochem. Sinochem, founded in 1950, is one of the biggest foreign trading companies in China. Since 1989, Sinochem has topped the list of the country’s 500 leading foreign trading companies and has also been recognized as a Fortune 500 company for 17 consecutive years.
Sinochem can be found on the Internet at www.sinochem.com.
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$426 billion (approximately HK$2,889.4 billion) as at March 31, 2007.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
1Source: China Insurance Regulatory Commission
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