Hong Kong's NWS Holdings has agreed to buy FTLife Insurance from the Beijing-based JD Group for HK$21.5bn ($2.75bn) in cash.
NWS is the logistics and transport service arm of New World Development Co. (NWD), and will act as a conduit to allow the group to expand from its core businesses of infrastructure and services, according to a statement by the company.
FTLife has been present in Hong Kong for over 30 years. It offers a comprehensive range of life insurance products, including whole life, term life, endowment, investment-linked, accident, and health cover.
FTLife was the 12th largest individual life insurer in Hong Kong by annualised premium equivalent, with a 1.4 percent market share at the end of 2017, according to a September Fitch Ratings report on the company.
According to NWS, FTLife is well positioned to benefit from the robust long-term outlook for the Hong Kong life insurance industry, which is primarily driven by a growing high net worth population, an aging population and the high savings rate in Hong Kong.
Despite lower demand due to regulatory action, NWS expects Hong Kong to continue being a favoured destination for mainland Chinese and overseas visitors looking to buy insurance.
JD Group bought FTLife for HK$10.7bn in 2016 from Belgian insurer Ageas as it sought growth through acquisitions in Hong Kong’s financial sector. The group has brokerage, mutual funds and private equity businesses.
“This transaction is a significant step towards our goal of building an immersive ecosystem of premium quality offerings to our customers and community,” said Adrian Cheng, executive vice chairman and general manager of New World Development.