Sun Life Global Considers Raising Stake in Chinese Joint Venture

Toronto, ON-based Sun Life Global is considering increasing stake in its Chinese joint venture, Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance, following the Chinese government’s easing of restrictions on foreign investment. Back in 2010, Sun Life cut its shareholding in the joint venture to 25 per cent to quickly obtain licenses for rapid expansion, in compliance with Chinese regulations on foreign investment. The joint venture partner, China Everbright Group, retained a 50 per cent share, while China North Industries Group and Anshan Iron and Steel Group each acquired 12.5 per cent stake. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced last Thursday that the cap on foreign shareholding in companies in life insurance, securities, and futures joint ventures would be raised to 51 per cent effective July 28, and completely removed by 2021. During the last five years, Sun Life has tripled its earnings to C$330 million and invested C$1 billion for business acquisitions. It is expected that the company will grow at 15 to 20 per cent per year in Asia over the next five years.

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