Aegon-CNOOC has opened a new branch office in Guangdong in line with its strategy to expand its businesses in the fast-growing coastal provinces of eastern China.
Guangdong, one of China's wealthiest and most populous provinces, is the joint venture's sixth branch following its entry into Beijing, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai and Zhejiang.
"China is a key growth market for Aegon, given the continued economic expansion underway and the emergence of an ambitious middle class with an increasing demand for life insurance, pensions and related investment products," said Aegon Chairman-elect of the Executive Board Alexander Wynaendts. "With the addition of Guangdong, Aegon-CNOOC is now present in areas that have a combined population of over 300 million. We have a solid position in China and intend to leverage Aegon's broad capabilities for the benefit of our Chinese customers and to ensure continued growth in the years ahead."
Aegon established its joint venture with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation in 2002, opening its first office in Shanghai. Currently, Aegon-CNOOC employs more than 900 people and has businesses across southern and eastern China. As the world's eighth largest market for life insurance, China is expected to grow by an average annual rate of 15%1) in the period beginning in 2005 to 2010.
Aegon's operations in China are part of a broader strategy to further strengthen the Group's presence throughout Asia. In addition to its operations in Taiwan, Aegon will also begin operations in both India and Japan during 2008. And recently, Aegon and China's Industrial Securities have completed the establishment of their asset management joint venture Aegon Industrial Fund Management Company.
1) Source: Swiss Re Sigma