Axa to Invest 500 million Euros over 5 Years in Partnership with ICBC

The French insurer Axa will invest 500 million euros in its partnership with the Chinese bank ICBC over the next five years, said Wednesday chief executive of Axa Asia Mike Bishop at a conference.

Axa agreed in late October to give the control of Axa-Minmetals Assurance to ICBC, with the ambition to see the company accelerate its development of the huge Chinese market.

Before the coming of ICBC, the capital was divided between Axa (51%) and China Minmetals (49%). After the operation, Axa will hold more than 27.5% and 12.5% Minmetals, against 60% for the first Chinese bank by capitalization.

Axa is currently the 16th foreign carrier on the Chinese market for life insurance, with a market share of 0.1%.

It aims to build the partnership’s first joint venture in Chinese life insurance market by 2015.

The partnership “gives us the ability to change. There are risks, but we will not stay at 0.1% market share,” said Mr. Bishop, in response to a question about the conflicting relations between foreign and Chinese companies sometimes.

Once regulatory approvals, Axa will market its products in more than 5,000 agencies ICBC.

As part of its plan, the insurer’s objective is to become the first international insurer in Asia damage insurance market(excluding Japan).