Europe's fourth-largest insurer, Zurich Financial Services Group, is in the early stages of securing a property insurance licence in Shanghai, says the South China Morning Post.
The newspaper says the Shanghai subsidiary would be Zurich's second wholly owned unit on the mainland, after it set up a unit in Beijing in 2007. The Swiss insurer's efforts to expand in China are in line with its ambition to increase Asia's contribution to its global revenue to 20% from the current 7%, reveals the Post.
"The government is doing everything to gradually open up the market to make competition equal and fair," Zurich Financial chief executive Martin Senn told the post. "We are looking to grow our business through organic growth."
The Post notes that foreign insurers can now set up their own non-life insurance units on the mainland, but they can open a life insurance business only through local joint ventures.