Australia’s largest lender and second biggest life insurer, the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has extended its Chinese business interests through a new life insurance deal. China’s Bank of Communications (BoCom) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia launched their joint venture in Shanghai on 28 January 2010.
Previously called China Life CMG, BoCom is the first bank in China to be given approval by Chinese regulators to enter the insurance market as part of a pilot program.
CBA’s decade-long joint venture with China Life CMG has been renamed BoCommLife Insurance Company Ltd. BoCom has taken over China Life’s 51 per cent share of the joint venture.
BoCom is ranked as the fifth largest bank in China, boasting 2600 outlets spanning 143 cities. It has 350 wealth management centres and 10000 self-help machines. BoCom is listed on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
CBA has other interests in China too. These include a 20 per cent stake in Qilu Bank (formerly Jinan City Commercial Bank), a 19.9 per cent stake in Bank of Hangzhou, the First State Cinda Fund Management Company and representative offices in Shanghai and Beijing.
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