China's national liquor splashes into insurance business

Updated 2017-02-25 10:25:29 Xinhua

The parent of a Chinese company that produces the nation's best known baijiu liquor, Moutai, has led an investment of 1 billion yuan (147 million U.S. dollars) to form a life insurance company.

Huagui Life Insurance, based in Moutai's home province of Guizhou in southwest China, started operating on Friday. It has ten other smaller investors after Kweichow Moutai Group.

Huagui set out an aggressive expansion plan. It aims to reach 88 counties and leap into the provincial sector's top five in terms of new premiums by 2018, according to the company's board chairman Wang Zhenwu. He said in 2019 the service should be found in each village in Guizhou and it would continue to expand outside the province.

In a philanthropic gesture, Huagui offered a one-year serious illness insurance product to about 100,000 left-behind children from migrant worker families. Leukaemia, meningitis, disabilities can be insured against with the product. The combined coverage amounts to about 3 billion yuan.

Kweichow Moutai Group general manager Li Baofang said the investment was key as the liquor group branches out into financing. It will also boost the province's relatively week insurance sector.

Insurance premiums grew by 17.2 percent between 2011 and 2015, reaching 25.8 billion yuan in Guizhou by the end of 2015.

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