(Yicai Global) May 14 -- Richard Li, the second son of Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing, has applied to set up a life insurance firm in Shanghai, taking advantage of recent new pilot policies in Shanghai aimed at opening up the financial sector.
Li has submitted documents to China’ financial regulators to set up the firm under the name FWD Life Insurance Company Ltd., a unit of FWD Group, an affiliate of his Asia-based private investment group Pacific Century Group, finance news site CNstock reported.
The firm plans to take a 51 percent stake in a joint venture with two other Chinese enterprises. If approved, it will become the first life insurance JV in which a foreign firm owns a 51 percent share following the recent insurance sector reforms in China.
China’s recently-installed central bank governor Yi Gang announced a raft of measures to further open up the country’s financial market earlier this month. The move followed by a speech made by President Xi at the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia, heralding a new era of reforms spanning multiple sectors.
For the life insurance sector, a key policy was an increase on the limit on foreign ownership in joint venture firms to 51 percent. The cap is set to be phased out completely within three years.
Editor: William Clegg