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PARISFrench reinsurance company SCOR Group S.A. has been granted approval by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission for a reinsurance license in China.
SCOR group opened a representative office in China in 2000 and submitted a request for a license to the CIRC in March 2004. The reinsurance group says that it believes that there will be a "major, recurring increase" in demand for property/casualty reinsurance in China caused by expanding economic development and the rapid growth of insurable assets.
SCOR says that the Chinese license will enable the company to speed up its development in Asia, which it has identified as a priority region. The group has operating entities in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.
SCOR forecasts that its premium income for p/c reinsurance in the region should reach €160 million ($203 million) in 2006 while premium income for life reinsurance in the region should reach €55 million.This latest license approval by the CIRC follows renewed calls from foreign insurance companies for it to further streamline licensing requirements and improve access to investment channels.China removed geographical restrictions on foreign insurers as part of its World Trade Organization commitments, but it has a separate and more complex licensing process for foreign firms than for domestic companies.
David Snyder, vice-president of the American Insurance Association, said during the recent International Association of Insurance Supervisors annual meeting in Beijing that the separate licensing process is slowing down the development of business in China and that he hoped that the CIRC would soon eliminate barriers.