Subordinate debt is an agreed unsecured debt between raiser and creditor(s) who has lower priority than other creditors, yet has higher priority over the raiser’s equity capitals.

Subordinate debt fund can be counted as Tier-II capitals in measuring an insurance company’s solvency status. Thus raising subordinate debt fund has become an important means of replenishing capitals by insurance companies. It is governed by CIRC’s Interim Measures on Management of Subordinate Term Debt of Insurance Company.

Subordinate debt has inherent risk. Creditors of insurance company’s subordinate debt can seek protection by virtue of the following methods:

Continue Reading Protection on Creditors of Subordinate Debts of Insurance Companies

As we all know, capital is crucial for insurance company. Only with enough funds can an insurance company have ability to cover the exposures. With adequate capital, an insurance company may better develop the business, i.e. release more ads, or establish more branches, to make more profits. It is possible that during the operation, an insurance company has no sufficient capital to support its business, and under such circumstance, the insurance company will need to raise funds to replenish its capital.

Generally speaking, there are four ways for an insurance company to supplement its capital:1. IPO or Seasoned Equity Offering; 2. getting additional investment by current shareholders; 3.getting money from private offer; and 4. allotting subordinated debt. For Chinese insurance companies, the first three ways may encounter hurdles or difficulties in practice. First of all, IPO is not easy for insurance companies, because many of them, especially small and medium-sized insurance companies, may not be able to meet the high standard of IPO. Secondly, current shareholders may be more willing to use financial vehicle, rather than funds of their own, to run the insurance company. It might be very difficult to raise money from current shareholders. Lastly, due to the financial crises, many institutions have insufficient funds to make the investment. Then issuing subordinated debt becomes a practical option for many insurance companies. According to the CIRC, 10 insurance companies were approved in 2009 to issue subordinated debt. The total amount of debt reaches RMB 18 billion.Continue Reading The Issuing of Subordinated Debt of Insurance Companies in China