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BOC, Minsheng get insurance intermediary approval
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The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) approved Tuesday Bank of China (BOC) and China Minsheng Banking Corp to adopt insurance intermediary as a concurrent-business, allowing the two lenders to provide a variety of insurance services at their counters.

During the past months, CIRC, the nation's insurance supervisor, has also approved Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Hang Seng Bank and Bank of East Asia to provide the same services.

With more and more banks entering the insurance arena, bancassurance premium will take up a greater share of the total premium, said Wang Xiaogang, an industry analyst from the Orient Securities, to Shanghai Securities News.

The paper also quoted figures that said in the first six months, bancassurance premium increased 153 percent over the same period of last year and accounted for more than half of the premium income in the life insurance sector.

China's premium income rose to 561.79 billion yuan ($82.26 billion) during the first half of this year, up 51 percent year-on-year. Premium income from personal insurance, including life insurance and other health insurance, hit 431.86 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 64 percent.

(Chinadaily.com.cn July 24, 2008)

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