China - 1 January 2007
London-based Prudential plc (Prudential) announced today that its China joint venture, CITIC Prudential, has been awarded a life insurance licence for Nanning City, capital city of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South West China.
Nanning City is located in the southern part of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 160 km from the border of Vietnam and has a population of 6.7 million, of which 1.5m lives directly in the city centre. In 2006 Nanning City generated a GDP of US$9 billion (RMB 72 billion) and annual per capita income of US$1,080 (RMB 12,840), increases of 15% and 18% over 2005 respectively.
Garth Jones, Managing Director, Insurance, China said "The Nanning branch license grants us access into our sixth new province in Guangxi, next to Guangdong province where we already have presence in 8 cities. We will leverage on the advantage of being the first foreign insurer in Nanning, Guangxi and continue to build a material life insurance business in China with our partner CITIC. Our expansion into Nanning underscores our commitment to meet the savings, protection and investment needs of the Chinese people."
The Nanning City branch is expected to be operational by Q4 2007.
In the first quarter of 2007, CITIC Prudential also opened new sales offices in Zhuhai, in Guangdong Province and Ningbo in Zhejiang Province. These, together with the Nanning City branch licence in Guangxi now mean that CITIC-Prudential has licenses in 21 cities covering 6 Provinces and 3 Direct Administration Zones, making it the leading European life insurance joint venture in China.
* An autonomous region is an area associated with one or more ethnic minorities. It is a first level administrative division for China, similar to a Province and Direct Administration Zone.