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The largest casualty insurers in Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to form a business tieup on product development and market research, company sources said Monday.

Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., People’s Insurance Co. of China and Samsung Fire & Marine Co. will establish a secretariat to decide the alliance details, the sources said.

Their presidents will meet annually to expand exchanges and cooperation, they said.

Tokio Marine and Samsung Fire see the partnership with PICC, which has a 77 percent share of China’s casualty insurance market, as an opportunity to increase business with Japanese and South Korean firms operating in China.

PICC meanwhile hopes to gain knowhow from the other two, the sources said.

Tokio Marine’s insurance business in China is currently limited to Shanghai because of government restrictions.

The Japanese firm will continue seeking permission from Chinese authorities to expand its area of operations, the sources said.

Tokio Marine and Samsung Fire formed a business and capital tieup in November 2000.

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