TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2003 – Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE/TSX: SLF) today announced that it has been granted approval by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to begin preparing operations for selling life insurance in Beijing with its joint venture partner China Everbright Group Limited. Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and has a population of approximately 13 million people, making this one of the most significant markets in China and throughout the world.
Donald A. Stewart, Sun Life Financial’s Chief Executive Officer, said “This historic milestone is excellent news for Sun Life Financial shareholders and key to our long-term growth plans in Asia. With our joint venture partner, we will begin to offer world-class life and health insurance products to meet the expanding needs of this vibrant emerging market.”
“The strong and valuable support of the Government of Canada was an important factor in obtaining this license and in helping Sun Life Financial to build on its existing presence in Tianjin. Sun Life Financial is privileged to be one of the first foreign life insurance companies to receive permission to operate in Beijing,” said Stewart. The joint venture, Sun Life Everbright, has been operating in Tianjin for more than a year and has 2,500 agents located in 16 sales offices. Tianjin is the second largest city in north China with a population of more than 10 million.
Sun Life Everbright has developed innovative insurance products for the growing Chinese market and offers term, critical illness and participating products.
Sun Life Financial’s presence in China dates back to 1892 and the company has its Asian regional headquarters in Hong Kong.
China Everbright Group was established in 1983 and is one of the largest and most successful business groups in the PRC. Following the consolidation of its non-core assets and investments, China Everbright Group has focused its strategy and core business in banking and financial services and is well positioned in mainland China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asian markets.
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of wealth accumulation and protection products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Tracing its roots back to 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2003, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of CDN $342.2 billion.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchange.