China Insurance jumps back into the black

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2006, 12:00am


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China Insurance International Holdings has returned to the black as its mainland life and property insurance arms reported maiden profits for the first half of the year.

Net profit of the Hong Kong-listed insurance group, which runs reinsurance and asset management businesses, was HK$328.3 million for the first six months, reversal from a net loss of HK$43.77 million a year earlier.

Fully diluted earnings per share were 24.3 HK cents, against a loss per share of 3.3 cents a year ago. No dividend was declared.

Net investment income and capital gains tripled to HK$948.21 million on the back of strong equity performances on the mainland and Hong Kong. Premium income rose 88.7 per cent to HK$7.06 billion.

Five-year-old Tai Ping Life Insurance, its 50.05 per cent owned life insurance unit, contributed HK$128.47 million to group earnings, compared with an HK$83.87 million loss a year earlier.

Life insurance premium collection increased 111.8 per cent year on year to HK$5.9 billion, with the strongest growth in bancassurance.

Five-year-old Tai Ping Insurance, the 40 per cent owned non-life arm, contributed HK$4.35 million of profit versus attributable loss of HK$11.46 million last year.

Property and casualty premium income rose 46.1 per cent to HK$959.15 million, with motor insurance taking the biggest share.

Profit from international reinsurance operations soared 167.4 per cent to HK$205.27 million.

'We did not take into account exceptionally strong (capital) market conditions when we drew up operating targets at the beginning of the year,' said Song Shuguang, chairman of Tai Ping Life.

'China International Insurance is very hopeful of returning to the black by year-end,' chairman Feng Xiaozeng

The group's H shares price fell 4.86 per cent to HK$5.68 yesterday.