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Japanese insurers buy stakes in Chinese agent

Japanese insurers Sompo Japan Insurance Inc and Aioi Insurance Co Ltd have each taken a 3 percent stake in a company formed by People’s Insurance Company of China Property and Casualty Co (PICC), the largest non-life company in China.

Each insurer has invested around $72,500 in the agent, to set up the Chinese insurer.

A Sompo spokesman said an insurance broker would be able to directly sell products to customers without going through agencies. "PICC has an extensive sales network throughout China. We believe the tie-up will help expand our China business," a Sompo spokesman said.

Aioi, owned 34.4 percent by Toyota, plans to provide insurance policies to Japanese corporations operating in China and in future sell products to Toyota car users there, a company spokesman told Reuters.

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