Foreign insurers in China reduce growth expectations: PwC

Foreign insurance companies continue to find China a tough market to operate in, given its highly regulated environment and the rising influence of domestic players, says PricewaterhouseCoopers in its fourth Foreign Insurance Companies in China survey.

According to the survey, this is forcing foreign insurers to re-look their business models and re-examine their positions.

The 31 foreign insurers that participated in a recent survey said they had dramatically lowered their expectations of any increase in market share for the next three years.

The survey says life insurers expect their share of the Chinese insurance market to continue to hover at the current level of 5 per cent in 2013, while the slice of the pie for property and casualty insurers is expected to stagnate at around 1 per cent in three years time.

''Foreign insurance companies operating in China have tried in vain to gain traction and increase their market share," says Peter Whalley, PwC's Insurance Industry Leader for Hong Kong.

According to Whalley, established domestic insurers and the aggressive geographic expansion of the smaller insurers are giving the foreign players a run for their money.