(See EXT8 <GO> for National People’s Congress coverage.)
March 10 (Bloomberg) -- China Life Insurance Co. Chairman Yang Mingsheng said profit this year will “surely” improve from 2012, when earnings of the nation’s biggest insurer were hurt by a stock market slump.
Real estate is a key investment option for insurers this year, Yang said in an interview at the National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing today.
Profit probably dropped about 40 percent in 2012 on lower investment yields and increased impairment losses, the Beijing- based insurer said Feb. 28. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index declined 5.2 percent in the first nine months of 2012, before an 8.8 percent advance in the final quarter erased the losses.
“Looking at the trend currently,” profit this year will “surely” be better, Yang said. He declined to elaborate.
China Life’s shares have dropped 7.9 percent in Hong Kong trading this year, following a 32 percent rally in 2012. Its Shanghai-traded stock is down 16 percent from the start of 2013.
--Zhang Dingmin, with assistance from Shiyin Chen in Singapore. Editors: Shiyin Chen, Garry Smith