Ping An Insurance Group yesterday reported a nearly 40 percent jump in net profit last year on stellar life insurance sales and investment returns.
Ping An, Asia's second-largest insurance company by market value, said its net profit rose 38 percent to 54.2 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) in 2015, the highest since 2003.
Strong life insurance sales and a surge of investment returns partly from the bullish Chinese stock market in the first half of last year helped drive up the profits.
The company reported that premiums for life insurance rose 20 percent to 299.8 billion yuan, and the gross investment returns jumped 80.1 percent to 114.75 billion yuan last year.
Timothy Chan, the group's chief investment officer, told reporters yesterday that he expected more uncertainties this year and would seek more investment opportunities in blue-chip stocks, preferred stocks and fixed assets, especially logistic infrastructure in first and second-tier cities.
Guotai Junan Securities said in a note that Ping An's investment returns this year is likely to fall but its core insurance business remains in good shape.
The life insurance sector has benefited from greater focus on offering protection type of policies than capital-consuming investment-related ones.
The property and casualty sector has also outperformed industrial average in managing costs, the note said.
Analysts also said the group's more than 10 Internet financing branches spanning wealth management, e-commerce, health care consulting, and home sales will bring more revenue as well as clients.
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