Allianz Foresees Growth in Chinese Market

Michael Diekmann, Chairman and CEO of the Allianz Group, has expressed his confidence in the company’s prospects in the Chinese market.

On his first visit to the country since taking over Allianz, Diekmann and Werner Zedelius, Member of the Board of Management, with responsibility for Growth Markets, held a press conference in Shanghai on Wednesday, to stress the company’s commitments in China.

As reported on the Allianz Web site, Diekmann told reporters “The Allianz Group is committed to continue building our relationships and our business presence and to contribute to the future of our clients and partners in China.”

Zedelius, in an interview also published on the site, noted that “We have had a presence here since 1994. Now we offer the full range of insurance and financial services of the Allianz Group: life and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, asset management and banking, and soon also credit insurance.”

Both men expressed growing optimism about the future of the Asia Pacific region in general and the Chinese market in particular. Zedelius commented: “Allianz is confident of the future economic growth of China. We have seen the government’s commitment to fulfilling the WTO agreements and to expediting social and economic reforms, and we believe these factors give rise to a positive investment climate and business opportunities in China. Allianz is committed to further investing in growth markets and to gaining ground as a leading provider of financial services in China.”

He indicated that, “the region’s weight in the Group has been constantly growing and has already contributed five percent to Allianz Group’s gross written premiums in 2003.” He also said Allianz plans to “predominantly seek organic growth,” but that it was also on the lookout for “selected M&A opportunities to further strengthen our presence.”