Two top Chinese insurers likely to report better profits for 2017

Large firms seen to have benefited from government's insurance sector clean-up

Two top Chinese insurers likely to report better profits for 2017

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Two leading insurers in China are expected to turn in substantially improved profit for 2017 once results are released this week, according to analysts.

China’s largest insurer, China Life Insurance, is expected to reveal a 68% increase in profit for last year, South China Morning Post reported.

Meanwhile, Ping An Insurance (Group), is likely to report a profit increase of around 22% to RMB76.25 billion (US$12 billion) for 2017. This is despite working on spin-off plans for Good Doctor, its healthcare technology platform, and Lufax, an online wealth management platform. Ping An is China’s second-largest insurer in terms of premiums.

“Ping An’s result is expected to be good due to the sales of more policies and its fintech developments,” Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of VC Wealth Management, told SCMP.

“What the market wants to know on Tuesday is not about its results, which is expected to be solid. The focus will be on the announcement on its spin-off plans,” Tse added.

Analyst estimates collected by Bloomberg showed that China Life Insurance’s net profit is expected at RMB32.09 billion (US$5.07 billion), up from RMB19.13 billion (US$3.02) in 2016.

From 2014 to 2016, China Life and six other major mainland Chinese insurers faced stiff competition from smaller insurers, which led to the big players’ market share fall from 80% to 60%. However, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission’s (CIRC) efforts to crack down on several smaller insurers’ overly aggressive products have benefited the larger and more stable firms such as Ping An and China Life.


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