Insurance giant Allianz looking to further grow in China through M&A
By Zhang Xinyuan
German insurance giant Allianz Group believes that China's economy will rebound quickly as the country has swiftly controlled the pandemic, and the company is actively looking for acquisition and merger opportunities to further grow its business in one of the most important markets in the world, said Philip Rong, CEO of Allianz Partners Greater China.
In an interview with CGTN, Rong also indicated that the belief is that the pandemic will increase people's awareness to insurance, and the industry will meet with a new wave of demand.
The following are excerpts from the interview, edited for brevity and clarity.
CGTN: What's your take on China's new foreign investment law?
Rong: I think it's a great movement to provide us with equal opportunity.
We really welcome the launch of the new law, particularly from the perspectives of the market entry and the equal opportunity, as well as the IP protection and the technology transfer.
We see a great opportunity for foreign businesses like us to improve the market position in China, developing our network in China and to improve our business position in this market.
CGTN: Is there room for improvement regarding the current foreign investment law?
Rong: The objective is very clear, to further open up to the foreign businesses. However, the term of conditions is still quite high level and generic, we perceive there need to be a number of guidelines and implementing rules put in place in order to realize the true effect of the new law.
We are looking at obtaining a new license, a VAT (value-added telecommunication service) license. In order to get the license, the related government agencies need to have the detailed implementation rules and guidelines to help us to get the new license, we are really looking forward to it.
CGTN: Has your company benefited from the new law?
Rong: Thanks to the opening-up, Allianz Group actually became the first company which got the license as an insurance holding company in China as a foreign business, this has been proceeding quite well, and in mid-January, we had an opening ceremony in Shanghai, and the holding company officially launched and established to be a valid business and we are really confident to see a great opportunity and development from that holding platform.
CGTN: Is your company still confident about China's economy in light of the coronavirus pandemic?
Philip: Definitely we are very confident in China about the China market, and we believe the virus outbreak is a short-term and temporary challenge for this market, particularly with a strong containment strategy put in place, we are very confident the overall economy will be recovered quite quickly.
Allianz Partners and Allianz Group have been treating China as one of the most important markets for the group, and the overall strategy has always been very positive and has never changed. In line with the new law, we do adjust like we just said, we are in the process of applying the new VAT license, and on top of that, actually we are also actively looking for merger and acquisition opportunity in China.