China Life Insurance, the mainland's largest insurer, plans to set up a general insurance venture with a registered capital of one billion yuan as part of its plan to transform into a diversified financial services group. The life insurer will spend 400 million yuan taking a 40 per cent stake in the new property and casualty insurer, while its parent, China Life Insurance Group, will invest 600 million yuan to take a 60 per cent stake, it said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. 'The new non-life business will help China Life enrich its portfolio,' Guotai Junan Securities analyst Luo Jing said. 'By investing in banks, securities firms and now a non-life insurer, the company is taking the shape of a diversified financial group.' China Life is one of the partners in Citigroup's bid for the control of Guangdong Development Bank, which sources said earlier has won approval from the State Council. The insurer also has a stake in China's biggest listed securities firm, Citic Securities, and is expected to gain control of Galaxy Securities. China Life's latest move is its first foray into non-life insurance after it was spun off from People's Insurance Co of China in 2001 in a move by the insurance regulator to divide the life and non-life sectors of the industry. The new insurer, named China Life P&C, will provide property and casualty, liability, credit and guarantee, agricultural, short-term health and accidental injury insurance. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has approved its establishment. The non-life business will not take a big part in China Life's business, Mr Luo said. China Life's premium income was 148.7 billion yuan for the first nine months. Its net profit jumped 72 per cent to 8.97 billion yuan from 5.21 billion yuan a year ago. Shares in China Life gained 1.22 per cent to close the session at HK$16.64 yesterday.