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Cigna & CMB Life to set up asset manager in China

China's insurance regulator approved the establishment of an asset management unit by Cigna & CMB Life Insurance Co. Ltd., Sina reported Jan. 6.

It will be the fourth such entity to be set by joint ventures between Chinese and foreign insurers, the report added. The other three are units of ICBC-AXA Assurance Co. Ltd., CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and BoCommLife Insurance Co. Ltd.

According to an official from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the new asset manager will be wholly owned by Cigna & CMB Life Insurance, whose shareholding is split equally between China Merchants Bank Co. Ltd. and Cigna Corp.'s Life Insurance Co. of North America.

China Merchants Bank and Life Insurance Co. will also hold 50% each of the asset manager, the report said, citing the official.

The move is aimed at introducing advanced concepts in areas such as management, product development, capital utilization and risk management to the Chinese market, the report said.

China has said it would relax foreign ownership rules for its financial sectors.