HONG KONG, April 28 Ping An Insurance (Group) Co
of China, the country's second-largest insurer by
market value, posted a 46 percent rise in first-quarter profit
as investment income recovered and its core life insurance
business saw strong growth.
Ping An earned a net profit of 10.8 billion yuan
($1.73 billion) in the first three months of the year compared
with 7.39 billion yuan a year earlier, it said in a Shanghai
stock exchange filing on Monday.
Total written premiums in the group's core life insurance
business grew nearly 23 percent in the first quarter, the
Ping An's full-year 2013 net profit jumped 40 percent
year-on-year, a rise that was below the expectations of analysts
who had forecast an even stronger recovery in insurers'
While China's insurers have improved returns on their
investments, they have found it tough to increase sales amid
tighter regulation and intensifying competition.
China's insurance regulator said earlier this month it had
relaxed rules on mergers and acquisitions in the industry, a
move that could spark consolidation among smaller, weaker
Shares in Ping An fell 1.6 percent in Hong Kong on Monday
ahead of the announcement, further than a 0.4 percent drop in
the broader Hang Seng index.
($1 = 6.2536 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Mark