Targeting small and medium enterprises, Shanghai-based Aegon-CNOOC Life Insurance has opened a new unit in Hangzhou, in China's Zhejiang province.

Aegon-CNOOC Life Insurance is a 50-50 joint venture between the Netherlands-based Aegon and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The joint venture, which recently raised its capital to CNY800 million from its earlier CNY600 million, has recorded premium income of approximately CNY500 million in 2006, an 80% increase over the previous year.

The new unit in Zhejiang will focus primarily on the owners and employees of small- and medium-sized businesses.