|AIG TO RETAIN EXISTING 100 PERCENT OWNERSHIP OF CHINESE INSURANCE OPERATIONS|
|NEW YORK, September 5, 2001 – American International Group, Inc. (AIG) stated today that it has firm assurances from China that AIG will not be required to reduce ownership of any of AIG’s existing 100 percent-owned insurance operations in China.|
In a meeting today in Beijing with China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) officials, AIG was assured that it would definitely not be forced to reduce any part of its 100 percent-owned Chinese insurance operations. CIRC has also confirmed this publicly, as reported by Reuters’ on September 5. The meeting today in Beijing followed a September 4 report in the Wall Street Journal quoting anonymous CIRC officials who erroneously stated that AIG would be required to relinquish its existing or “grandfathered” 100 percent ownership rights as a condition of China’s admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
China Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) officials likewise confirmed to Reuters’ today that China had agreed to preserve AIG’s existing 100 percent ownership rights in China and would allow AIG to continue to operate in the same way that it is now operating in China.
AIG said, “The preservation of acquired rights is a trade principle China has agreed to maintain in all of its WTO negotiations with other nations. AIG’s branch operations are to be expanded as geographic limitations are removed consistent with China’s bilateral agreements with the United States, concluded in November 1999.
“The question of whether AIG would be allowed to continue to expand its branch operations on a wholly owned basis in China was never an issue in the WTO negotiations between China and the United States Trade Representative, and AIG is confident that its expansion rights will be satisfactorily resolved in the course of China’s final accession to the WTO.”
AIG is the leading U.S.-based international insurance and financial services organization and the largest underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance in the United States. Its member companies write a wide range of commercial, personal and life insurance products through a variety of distribution channels in approximately 130 countries and jurisdictions throughout the world. AIG’s global businesses also include financial services and asset management, including aircraft leasing, financial products, trading and market making, consumer finance, institutional, retail and direct investment fund asset management, real estate investment management, and retirement savings products. American International Group, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the stock exchanges in London, Paris, Switzerland and Tokyo.