Foreign Insurers Eye China’s $1.6 Trillion Private Pension Business

Foreign insurers including Generali and Prudential Plc are in early talks with authorities to enter China’s private pensions sector, people with knowledge of the matter said, as Beijing opens up to overseas companies. Hong Kong-based AIA Group and Manulife Financial are also considering similar moves, they said. Beijing gave approval to the first foreign joint-venture firm to establish a pensions insurance business last month and two of the people said China has been running pilot projects in three provinces involving foreign firms. Those projects end later this year. Foreign insurers would compete with eight established Chinese pension insurance firms that dominate the potentially lucrative market, where the fast-graying population is set to produce 250 million people older than 60 by 2020. “The average longevity of people in China is increasing but the pension market remains under-penetrated,” Prudential Asia Chief Executive Nic Nicandrou told Reuters.

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