Ping An’s first quarter profits leap 77%

Escalating profits ride wave of optimism around Chinese economy’s stabilisation

Ping An’s first quarter profits leap 77%

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Ping An Insurance Group has posted a 77% year-on-year increase in net profit for the first quarter of 2019, attributed to strong investment returns amid recovery in the capital market.

The company, which is the largest insurer in China in terms of market value, had a net profit of RMB45.52 billion (US$6.76 billion) for the first three months of the year, compared to RMB25.7 billion during the same period in 2018, Reuters reported, adding that this was the highest rate of profit growth for the period since at least 2014.

Ping An’s strong performance accompanies the Chinese market’s optimism that the economy may soon stabilise, following Beijing’s actions such as fiscal stimulus and liquidity measures to boost growth. The insurer’s profits were driven by an over six-fold increase in investment income, reaching RMB46.6 billion (US$6.92 billion).

Gross written premiums grew 8.4% year-on-year to RMB274.39 billion (US$40.75 billion), while the number of retail customers grew 3.6% to 191 million, the report added.

Meanwhile, Ping An’s asset management business saw its quarterly net profit rise by 19.9%. The group reported annual profits exceeding its expectations, mostly due to growth in its life and health insurance business. It subsequently announced that it will buy back up to RMB10 billion (US$1.49 billion) in shares.

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