A man passes by the billboard of New China Life Insurance Co at an insurance fair in Beijing. (Photo by A Qing/For China Daily)
Chinese insurance companies stood out in domestic stock markets this week, with experts optimistic that the sector's high potential and the improving liquidity environment will continue to support growth.
"Major Chinese insurance companies with pleasing business performance are popular in the capital markets, and I believe the trend will continue as China's insurance market has huge potential," said Dong Dengxin, a finance professor at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.
Dong said Chinese insurers should seize the opportunity to develop commercial health and endowment insurance in the domestic market.
Ping An Insurance Co of China Ltd closed at 61.39 yuan (.30) on Thursday, hitting a 10-year high. China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co Ltd's share price increased by 1.38 percent on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday, while China Pacific Insurance Co Ltd increased by 1.21 percent.
Ping An's net profit in the first half of 2017 totaled 43.4 billion yuan, increasing 6.5 percent year-on-year. China Pacific's net profit totaled 6.5 billion yuan, increasing 6 percent year-on-year. The two insurers will publish their third quarter financial reports on Saturday.
China Life Insurance Co Ltd closed in the A-share market with a 0.03 percent increase on Thursday, following a 0.1 percent rise on Wednesday. The company issued the financial report of the third quarter on Thursday afternoon, claiming its net profit in the first three quarters increased 98.3 percent year-on-year, driven by strong investment returns.
Premium income in China reached 2 billion in the first eight months of the year, up 20.5 percent year-on-year, data from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission showed.
A Guotai Junan Securities report said, with cuts to the reserve requirement ratio and the robust performance of blue chips, insurance companies will further improve their metrics.
Insurance products set to be issued next year－which the authorities have greenlighted and generally feature a combination of bonus annuities and universal insurance－will be next year's growth points, according to the report.