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China Stocks: China Life, Maanshan Iron & Steel, Sinohydro Group

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in China trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses as of the close.

The Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks the bigger of China’s stock exchanges, fell 2.21 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,378.63. The CSI 300 Index declined 0.2 percent to 2,596.06.

Insurance stocks: China Life Insurance Co. (601628 CH), the nation’s biggest insurer, advanced 3.1 percent to 17.67 yuan. New China Life Insurance Co. (601336 CH), the third biggest, jumped 8.4 percent to 33.50 yuan, record.

“Premiums will pick up from the second quarter because of a lower base a year earlier, when the government tightened practices of selling policies through banks, hurting premiums,” Xie Jiyong, an analyst at Capital Securities Corp. in Shanghai, said by phone.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission may soon announce new rules for overseas investment by domestic insurance companies, the Oriental Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. The new rules may give more details on investment products and increase the number of regions allowed for investment, the newspaper said.

Water conservancy-related stocks: Sinohydro Group Ltd. (601669 CH), the nation’s biggest builder of dams, jumped 3.2 percent to 4.51 yuan. Anhui Water Resources Development Co. (600502 CH) rose 1.1 percent to 14.57 yuan. Zhejiang Reclaim Construction Group Co. (002586 CH) surged 6.4 percent to 25.99 yuan.

The People’s Bank of China will boost loans to industries “directly related” to the real economy and improve financial services for industries including new strategic sectors and water conservation, the official Xinhua News Agency said in a report late yesterday.

Maanshan Iron & Steel Co. (600808 CH) lost 1.2 percent to 2.54 yuan. Its net loss was 467.9 million yuan ($74 million) for the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of 106.1 million yuan a year earlier, the steelmaker said in a statement yesterday. The company also said it may be unprofitable in the first half as slower economic growth curbs demand.

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