Prudential Hong Kong, a unit of UK-based insurer Prudential, has set up its branch in Macau, reported South China Morning Post.

With the launch of the new outpost, the company has become the latest insurer to expand into Macau to cash in on the local government’s efforts to diversify the region into a financial services hub.

Companies such as HSBC Life, Manulife Financial, Haitong International Securities, and Everbright Securities Investment Services (HK) have recently increased their presence in Macau.

Prudential Hong Kong will also compete against entities such as AIA, AXA and FWD.

Prudential Hong Kong CEO Lawrence Lam said: “Macau’s proximity to Hong Kong, Zhuhai and other Greater Bay Area cities makes it central in every sense to Prudential’s Greater Bay Area strategy to grow its footprint in the area.”

According to Prudential Hong Kong (Macau) general manager Chris Ma, the insurer plans to collaborate with various banks to offer its products and aims to hire 500 agents in Macau during the next five years.

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Ma noted: “Macau has a growing middle class who need life and medical insurance coverage as well as wealth management products.”

According to the initial announcement in January, the Macau branch will provide life and health insurance solutions, including multi-currency options, to meet customer demands for savings, healthcare, and protection.