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Hannover Re wins China license


BEIJING, China — Hannover Re, the German reinsurance group that is majority owned by Hanover-based Talanx A.G., has become the latest major European reinsurance company to gain a license to trade in the People's Republic of China.

The company announced that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission has granted it a license to transact life and health reinsurance in the fast-growing economy.

Wolf Becke, member of the executive board responsible for life and health reinsurance, said that the he is "delighted" to have gained the approval from the CIRC to trade in this "vigorously expanding" market.

He explained that Hannover Re has supported its clients in the market since 1997 through a representative office.

"We now have the ability to offer our cedants tailored reinsurance solutions in the life, health and personal accident lines and to share in the extraordinary growth potential of this market," said Mr. Becke.

Hannover estimates that China generated gross premium volume of some $61 billion in 2005 of which $45 billion was in life and the remaining $16 billion in non-life business.

This placed China in 11th position worldwide by premium volumes last year but Hannover Re reckons it could climb to as high as third by 2020.

Demographic trends favor the life and health market in particular, said Hannover Re.

"In addition to the rapidly rising level of insurance awareness and a marked propensity to save among the Chinese population coupled with a middle class that has ample purchasing power, China offers unparalleled growth prospects thanks to the demographic trend," it said.