Min Xin Insurance, part of the mainland banking and property investment group Min Xin Holdings, says attributable profit for the year ended December 31 would exceed the $18.2 million net profit recorded in 1995. Harry Chan Yue-hing, chief executive and managing director of the insurance arm, yesterday attributed the growth to an exceptional gain from a property disposal. 'The operating profit [of the insurance company] would not be as good as 1995, but we have booked an investment gain through the release of an investment property,' he said. The company, one of the group's major profit contributors, faced fierce competition from other insurance companies last year. Claims on non-life coverage, such as motor vehicles and third person liabilities, jumped 25 per cent last year. Mr Chan said he expected a turnaround in the vehicle market and a 50 per cent upward revision in third person liabilities to lift performance. The company said it had obtained approval from the State Council and the People's Bank of China to set up a representative office next month in Fuzhou. According to mainland insurance regulations, all foreign insurance companies are required to keep a representative office open for at least two years before applying for a full insurance licence. Mr Chan said the company would take the opportunity to seek a foreign joint-venture partner, but would retain effective control. 'We specialise in non-life insurance and are looking for expertise in life insurance,' he said.