General insurance giant Aviva and finance group First Financial Holding Company have agreed to enter into an agreement to form a joint venture company based in Taiwan, which will be named First-Aviva.

Under the terms of the deal, First Financial Holding Company (FFHC) will hold a 51% stake of the new business, while Aviva will hold the remaining 49%. The initial paid-up capital of the company will be GBP34 million.

First-Aviva will offer long-term savings and pension products in Taiwan, distributing them through an exclusive bancassurance agreement with FFHC’s flagship subsidiary, First Commercial Bank. First Commercial Bank is Taiwan’s second largest bank network, with 187 branches and five million retail customers.

Philip Scott, executive director of Aviva, said: Aviva’s entry into Taiwan further extends our leading position in international bancassurance and we’re excited by the potential of the Taiwanese life insurance market, which is the fourth largest in Asia. The prospects for future growth in the pensions market are particularly positive.

Both companies are intending to sign definitive documentation on April 27, 2007. The proposed plan for the joint venture company is subject to regulatory approval in Taiwan.