China insurance regulator raises cap on equity investments

SHANGHAI Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:11pm EST

SHANGHAI Feb 20 (Reuters) - China's insurance regulator has released new rules raising the share of assets that insurers can devote to equity investments, providing a potential boost to the Chinese stock market.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) released the new rules late on Wednesday, raising the maximum share of total assets that insurers can invest in stocks and private equity to 30 percent, up from 25 percent under previous rules.

China's insurance companies had assets of 8.289 trillion yuan ($1.36 trillion) at the end of 2013, official data shows.

Invested funds totaled 7.687 trillion yuan, of which 29 percent was in bank deposits, 43 percent in bonds, and 10 percent in stocks and related securities. ($1 = 6.0764 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Gabriel Wildau; Editing by Paul Tait)