China Life Sinks Most in 7 Months, Swelling Discount on Mooted Profit Drop

China Life Insurance Co. (LFC), the nation’s biggest insurer, tumbled the most in seven months in U.S. trading after saying profit in 2011 may have fallen as much as 50 percent.

China Life’s American depositary receipts slid 8.2 percent to $40.37 by 10:09 a.m. in New York, the biggest slump since Aug. 8. The decline swelled the ADRs’ discount to China Life’s Hong Kong-traded shares to 5.8 percent, also the most since Aug. 8. Each ADR represents 15 common shares.

Net income for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 may have plunged by 40 percent to 50 percent from a year earlier based on Chinese accounting standards, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today.

The decrease is “mainly attributable to the decline in investment yield and the increase in impairment losses caused by the fluctuation in the capital market,” China Life said in the statement.

Beijing-based China Life sank 3.7 percent to HK$22.15 in Hong Kong trading, the equivalent of $2.85 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Belinda Cao in New York at lcao4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net

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