Choy Chung-Foo on Renminbi insurance | BOC Group Life Assurance | Video

World Finance interviews Choy Chung-Foo, CEO of BOC Group Life Assurance, on the internationalisation of the Renminbi currency

January 23, 2014

The internationalisation of the Renminbi has created some exciting opportunities in the Hong Kong Insurance sector. Choy Chung-Foo, CEO of BOC Group Life Assurance, talks about the benefits of close economic ties between China and Hong Kong, and why international investors should be considering Renminbi insurance.

World Finance: Mr. Chung-Foo, first of all, congratulations on winning the 2013 World Finance Award for Best Life-Insurer, Hong Kong. Tell me about your main insurance products.

Choy Chung-Foo: First of all, let me thank World Finance and the judging panel for giving BOC Group Life Assurance this award. We offer a full range of life, annuity, and health products that meet the needs of customers at the different life stages.

World Finance: And what is BOC’s position in the local life insurance market?

Choy Chung-Foo: In Hong Kong, insurance market ranking is based on annualised first year premium, generated by insurance. On this basis, BOC Group Life is among the top life insurers in Hong Kong in recent years. For the first quarter of this year, we were number one in the market share. Renminbi offshore insurance was first introduced in Hong Kong by us at the end of 2009. Being the pioneer in this business, we are solidly ahead of our competitors, taking over 50 percent market share in this business.

Like all Hong Kong based companies, we have been benefited by the close economic relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China

World Finance: China has been making huge economic reforms, so how has this impacted the insurance business in Hong Kong?

Choy Chung-Foo: Like all Hong Kong based companies, we have been benefited by the close economic relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China. The mainland of China is now promoting the increasing views of Renminbi globally, and Hong Kong is the major offshore market to achieve this goal. We seized this opportunity and have built our Renminbi insurance portfolio quickly to become the market leader in the Renminbi insurance market.

World Finance: Tell me more about Renminbi insurance. Why should international investors be looking into it and what resources are available?

Choy Chung-Foo: With the increase in economic activities between China and other markets, there is an increasing use of Renminbi globally. More and more people may want to go to China, for education, business, and for retirement. Also, as Renminbi increases its international presence, it becomes one of the world’s major currencies. Investors naturally have incentive to diversify their portfolio to improve Renminbi assets as a result.

The need to acquire Renminbi assets to support these activities increases. Renminbi insurance helps investors in their planning to meet these needs. Insurance business is now of the strategic focuses of the group. With the continuous support from the group we’re working on an international expansion plan, which we shall share in due course.