The China joint venture of Manulife Financial has been granted approval to sell life insurance products in Guangzhou, reported South China Morning Post. According to the Canadian company, this is the first time that a foreign-invested life insurance joint venture has set up a branch office in the country. The wholly-owned American International Assurance has branch offices in three Chinese cities.
Manulife's Hong Kong arm will hold a 51 per cent stake in the branch and the remainder will be held by its Chinese partner, Sinochem's China Foreign Economic Trust and Investment Co. These stakes are the same as in Shanghai, where the joint venture has a sales team of 3,000 and more than 140,000 customers. The Guangzhou office expects to start selling its products at the end of this month. Manulife hopes to establish additional offices in Beijing and Shenzhen.