French mutual insurance group Groupama and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture to expand in China’s property and casualty insurance market.

The new company, whose creation will be contingent on the approval of the competent authorities, will be owned equally by AVIC and Groupama.

The joint venture will leverage the expertise of Groupama – that has been involved in insurance for more than 100 years, operates in 14 countries and has been established in Sichuan Province since 2003 – and the might of the AVIC Group – one of China’s leading industrial groups, involved not only in aeronautics but also in logistics, the motor industry, civil engineering and asset management.

Groupama has said that the objective of the joint venture will be to become one of the leading players in the commercial, individual and agricultural insurance segment in China.