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China to Expand Insurers’ Investment Scope, Regulator Says

China will broaden the investment scope of insurers and simplify approval procedures to boost the industry’s support to the nation’s economic growth, the insurance regulator said.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission will gradually increase the types of unsecured corporate bonds that insurers can buy, Chairman Xiang Junbo said during a trip to Wenzhou in eastern Zhejiang province, according to a statement posted on the watchdog’s website today.

The regulator will also “appropriately” adjust the percentage ceilings on different asset classes in insurance companies’ portfolios, Xiang said without being specific. The agency will tighten supervision on the companies’ ability to settle claims as it loosens restrictions on their investment behavior, he added.

The new measures may be tested in Wenzhou, Xiang said, adding that his agency will support qualified private investors in the city to set up regional insurance companies.

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