Hong Kong's Principal Insurance is looking for at least five other companies with which to create a strategic alliance in order to distribute the company's Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) products. Chief executive officer Rex Au-yeung said yesterday that Principal had entered into an agreement with QBE Insurance and he expected two more alliances to be announced within three months. 'Our game-plan is to have five companies with an established distribution force willing to distribute our products,' he said. The MPF is expected to be implemented before the end of 2000 and Principal's planning was geared to confirmation of the launch date, Mr Au-yeung said. 'Our strategy is that anything that needs time to do, we do now,' he said. 'And anything that needs a date, we wait.' Principal estimates it will capture 10 per cent of the MPF market once it is launched, a target which will be aided by its AA rating by Standard & Poor's. 'The financial strength rating . . . reflects the confidence of S&P in Principal Hong Kong's strategy, management team and plans for the future,' he said. Mr Au-yeung said the company's research showed employees placed greater value on security of their retirement funds than on high yields, and employees expected their employers to select providers with these objectives in mind. 'The solid rating will give our potential customers the comfort they desire,' he said.