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China Life Advances to Widen Premium on Profit Forecast

China Life Insurance Co., the nation’s largest insurer, climbed the most in two weeks after saying first-half profit may rise by more than 50 percent from a year earlier.

American depositary receipts of China Life advanced 2.8 percent to $36.53 as trading closed in New York, the biggest rally since July 11. The ADRs traded 2.4 percent above its shares in Hong Kong, the highest premium in three months. Each ADR equals 15 underlying shares in the Beijing-based company.

The net income surge is attributable to an increase in investment income combined with a decline in impairment losses, the insurer said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange after the local market closed, without further elaboration. The preliminary estimate is based on unaudited numbers, it said.

China Life posted a profit of 9.6 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the first half of 2012, a 26 percent decline from the same period in 2011. Its premium income in the first six months of 2013 was 202.6 billion yuan, according to a July 15 filing, representing a 9.3 percent increase from a year earlier.

The Hong Kong-traded shares closed unchanged at HK$18.44. They have declined 27 percent this year, compared with a 1.1 percent drop in the Hang Seng Finance Index, which tracks 12 banks, insurers and the city’s exchange operator.

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