Discovery's strategy to expand into China is paying off as the country's 1.4-billion people grow private health insurance into an industry worth nearly R2-trillion. Growth in SA's private health-care sector is increasingly difficult to achieve; the number of insured lives has been stagnant at about 8-million since 2014. This has sparked diversification into other business lines and/or expansion into foreign markets. Discovery entered the health insurance market in China in 2010 when it acquired a 25% stake in a subsidiary of one of China's biggest insurance companies, Ping An Health (PAH). Discovery reports that for the six months ending in December 2018, PAH's new-business premiums grew 117% to ¥2.1bn (R4.3bn). On Thursday, in his interim results presentation, Discovery CEO Adrian Gore said: "If you look at the insurance markets in China, they have grown incredibly, like life insurance, motor insurance. Health insurance has not been a big market until now." Massive middle class He ...

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