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Consortium led by major Chinese express couriers planning new P&C insurer

A consortium led by some of China's biggest express couriers plans to set up a new property and casualty insurer focusing on the logistics industry, STO Express Co. Ltd. said in a regulatory filing.

Shenzhen-listed STO Express told the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Oct. 14 that it plans to establish the insurer with six other investors. These include ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc., Yunda Holding Co. Ltd. and Shanghai YTO Jiaolong Investment Development (Group) Ltd. Yunda and Shanghai YTO Jiaolong are the parent companies of courier services, Yunda Ltd. and YTO Express Group Co. Ltd.

The remaining investors are shipping company Guangzhou P.G. International Transportation Co. Ltd., Jiangxi Financial Holding Group Co. Ltd. and Shandong Jingjin Holding Group Co. Ltd.

The new P&C insurer, Zhongbang Logistics Insurance Co. Ltd., will be registered in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, with a capital of 1 billion yuan. STO Express, ZTO Express, Yunda, Shanghai YTO Jiaolong and Jiangxi Financial will each hold a 16% stake, while Shandong Jingjin and Guangzhou P.G. each holds 10%.

Despite a high demand for insurance permits in China, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission has not approved new licenses since January, following the purge of former CIRC head Xiang Junbo in April and increased scrutiny on insurers' shareholders.

As of Oct. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 6.59 Chinese yuan.