SilkRoute, ERC announce JV for online insurance

SilkRoute and ERC set up online insurance aggregation service

Singapore, July 27 2000 - SilkRoute, Asia’s leading e-commerce group, today announced a joint venture with reinsurance company Employers Reinsurance Corporation (ERC), a GE (General Electric) company.

They will establish ViaNeti, a company that will offer an online insurance aggregation service called Ins-Zone.

ViaNeti aims to bridge the gap between consumers, businesses and the insurance industry, by accumulating a full range of insurance products, such as health, medical and travel insurance coverage from different primary insurers to provide greater choice to the insurance buyer.

ViaNeti will allow users throughout Asia to do price comparisons, find the right product, and purchase it through their favourite portal or website. ViaNeti’s service will be an additional distribution and revenue channel for the insurance industry and serves as a showcase for their products. Portals and websites can add further value to their visitors by offering a range of insurance products, helping to strengthen their web communities and gain a new revenue channel as well. Ins-Zone is expected to launch its service by the first quarter of next year.

Mark L. Ricciardelli, CEO of ERC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. said, "The insurance industry in Asia Pacific is experiencing tremendous growth now. More and more insurance products are being offered on a daily basis to cater to the varied needs of businesses and consumers. Insurance companies need to find a better way to deliver their products and services to their customers. As such, by forming ViaNeti, we want to build an additional channel for distribution of insurance products that will allow insurers to better serve their customers."

About Employers Reinsurance Corp. (ERC)
ERC is the second largest reinsurance company in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. In 1999, net premiums written measured $8.2 billion ($4.8 billion in the US). Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the corporation operates local offices across the United States, Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Asia Pacific. In Asia, ERC has 150 staff working in 12 offices across the region. It is part of the General Electric Company.

About SilkRoute
SilkRoute an e-commerce company dedicated to building leading Asian Internet companies with a strong global outlook. The company's mission is to create, nurture and develop e-commerce ventures in and across Asia, which have significant economic and social impact. To date, the group collectively employs over 350 people, has launched two successfully funded Internet companies, and is incubating over seven exciting new ventures.

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