Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hong Kong insurancer cried

The boss of a major insurance company came from New York to Hong Kong last Friday, telling his senior managers that they can't get contract from mainlanders from now on. Half of the managers, in the number of about 50, cried in the conference. They said most of their business are from mainland.

AIA, a member of American International Group( AIG) , is one of the largest insurance companies in Hong Kong. The company offers a seris of service including individual life and group life insurance. There is no number to show how much per cent of its profit is from mainland. But it is easy to know the importance from the managers' response to the new policy.

The customer service people in AIA said that it would not allow the mainland tourists to buy the insurance from Jan,12 due to the "change in the internal policy". He can't tell why the company make the change.

But "the mainland people who have got the Hong Kong Identity card" can still buy the insurance. " We will consider those people as local people in Hong Kong", he added.

Separately, the central government has allowed the Chinese insurance companies, including Pingan to invest overseas about 10 months ago. Now the companyies are busy at implementing their investment plans. Also, the Chinese social security funds, with 150 million yuan, will invest in Hong Kong after the completion of the procedual issues. Xiang Huaicheng, chairman of China's National Council for Social Security, has been in Hong Kong these days. He said to media yesterday that "it is already good news itself" that he was here. Hmmm.

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