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South Korea: BNP Paribas Assurance increases stake in Joint Subsidiary with Shinhan Financial Group

BNP Paribas Assurance and Shinhan Financial Group signed an agreement under the terms of which BNP Paribas Assurance has increased its equity interest in their joint subsidiary SHC&Life Insurance from 50% to 85%.

Shinhan Holding Group's 50% interest (+1 share) in SH&C Life is transferred as follows: 35% (+ 2 shares) to BNP Paribas Assurance and 15% (-1 share) to Shinhan Bank

BNP Paribas Assurance has developed savings business in South Korea since 2002 within the framework of a successful partnership with Shinhan Financial Group. The company believes strongly in the potential of the Korean market—the seventh-largest life insurance market in the world—and in its positive growth outlook.

“BNP Paribas Assurance has decided to increase its stake in this joint venture by 35% to bring our Korean clients a broader portfolio of products and personalized services. We are delighted to contribute our expertise and innovation capabilities to the new entity,” said Eric Lombard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Assurance

The agreement calls for marketing of a range of protection products in addition to the savings products currently available in the country.

SH&C Life Insurance will continue to distribute its products through Shinhan Bank's 970 branches. It will also deploy its multi-partnership business model with additional product distribution via other financial establishments in the Korean market.

The new unit will announce a new name in the coming months.

About BNP Paribas Assurance
BNP Paribas Assurance ( is the Life and Property & Casualty insurance unit of BNP Paribas. It develops and markets products and services under two commercial brands. Products distributed through the BNP Paribas retail branch network in France are branded BNP Paribas. Those distributed by other channels in France and in international markets are branded Cardif.
BNP Paribas Assurance is the world leader in creditor insurance and the fourth-largest life insurance company in France. Its life and non-life insurance units have received an AA rating from Standard & Poor's.
BNP Paribas Assurance is actively committed to exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility. It has adopted a Socially Responsible Investment program, encourages diversity throughout the enterprise (earning the "Equality at Work" label) and supports local economic development in the markets where it operates. BNP Paribas Assurance is equally committed to environmental responsibility, targeting a 10-percent reduction in the company's carbon emissions by 2010.
It had gross written premiums of 16.1 billion euros in 2008. With operations in 41 countries, BNP Paribas Assurance generated 42% of its 2008 gross written premiums outside the BNP Paribas group and 37% of gross written premiums outside France. It counts 8,000 employees, 70% of them outside France.