Prudential, the UK insurer, has opened a life insurance joint venture in Beijing with Citic, one of China's leading state-owned financial conglomerates. The company expects its existing joint venture in Guangzhou to be profitable by the end of 2003, just over three years after it began operation. If the prediction is fulfilled, Prudential would follow the lead of American Insurance Group as the first foreign life insurer to run a profitable subsidiary in China.
Prudential plans to expand its operations by opening branches in 16 more Chinese cities, depending on regulatory approval. The company also wants to establish a joint venture mutual fund with Citic.