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China Warns Insurers Over Russia, Ukraine Exposures

At least two large state-owned insurance firms have been asked by regulators to conduct internal checks on their business and investment

Destroyed and damaged military vehicles block a street in Bucha, near Kyiv. Photo: Reuters


China has told top state insurers to perform urgent checks on their exposures to Russia and Ukraine, as concerns swirl about the damage to the two economies.

The move was also triggered by sweeping sanctions that have been imposed by many countries on Russia, after its invasion of Ukraine last Thursday in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.

At least two large state-owned insurance firms have been asked by regulators to conduct internal checks on their business and investment portfolios’ exposure to Russia and Ukraine, said the sources.

The development underscores Beijing’s efforts behind the scenes to minimise risk to its own institutions even as it continues to maintain strong trade ties with Russia in the face of crippling sanctions imposed by the West on that country.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.




Shutting Off Economy

Western governments and others are shutting off Russia’s economy from the global financial system, pushing international companies to halt sales, cut ties and dump tens of billions of dollars’ worth of investments.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, has repeatedly voiced opposition to the sanctions, calling them ineffective and insisting it will maintain normal economic and trade exchanges with Russia.

It was not immediately clear what action Beijing will take after the insurance companies have performed the reviews.

One of the regulatory authorities has asked a state-owned insurer to “urgently” check and report projects “involved in dealings between Ukraine and Russia”, one of the sources with knowledge of the directive told Reuters.

Another insurance company received an urgent request from its regulator to check the firm’s exposure to the two countries and submit a report, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.


  • Reuters with additional editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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