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Ping An Profit Surges Amid Market Rally as Banking Income Climbs

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., China’s second-largest insurer, said profit more than doubled in the third quarter as a stock-market rally boosted investment returns and revenue from its banking unit expanded.

Net income surged to 5.43 billion yuan ($893 million), or 0.69 yuan a share, from 2.13 billion yuan, or 0.27 yuan a share, a year earlier, the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange yesterday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 9.9 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, as China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters, boosting the value of Ping An’s equity holdings. Net income at unit Ping An Bank Co. jumped 20 percent to 4.2 billion yuan in the quarter as loans expanded and margins improved, the lender said Oct. 22.

Investment income was 14.2 billion yuan, the insurer said. Impairment losses from investments, which more than doubled last year, were 2.12 billion yuan in the third quarter, according to the statement. Net premiums earned were 53.2 billion yuan, Ping An said.

Third-quarter profits at Chinese insurers traded on mainland exchanges may have grown by an average 80 percent because of a low base from a year earlier and the stock-market rally that offsets fair-value losses on their portfolios, Guotai Junan Securities Co.’s Shanghai-based analyst Peng Yulong wrote in an Oct. 20 report.

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