BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

BNP Paribas enters into JV with Bank of Beijing

It’s the second partnership with a Chinese bank in six months.

France's largest bank will acquire the 50% stake held by Dutch bank ING in its life insurance joint venture with the Bank of Beijing. The new JV will be equally owned by BNP and the Chinese bank and will mark BNP’s entry into the Chinese insurance market.

BNP raised its stake in Bank of Nanjing from 15% to 20% in December, the maximum amount a foreign bank can hold of a Chinese lender, as part of its strategy of increasing its investments in China.

BNP Paribas Cardif, the insurance branch of the French financial group, generated US$4.9 billion in gross written premiums in Asia in 2012, an increase of 25% over the previous year. It sees its partnership with Bank of Beijing as a major new stage in BNP Paribas Cardif's international expansion.

BNP Paribas Cardif CEO Xavier Guilmineau said entering the Chinese market is a key step in the firm’s development.

“This fast-growing market offers numerous development opportunities in life insurance. The BNP Paribas Cardif's expertise coupled with the quality of the Bank of Beijing brand will strengthen our position in this key region for our development."


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