China Life Profit Rises as Stock Market Rally Boosts Returns

China Life Insurance Co., the nation’s biggest insurance company, said profit rose 70 percent in the first quarter as stock market rallies bolstered its investment returns.

Net income increased to 12.3 billion yuan ($2 billion), or 0.43 yuan a share, from 7.23 billion yuan, or 0.26 yuan a share, a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 16 percent in the first three months of the year as the government took steps to stem an economic slowdown, lifting the value of insurers’ equity holdings. China Life’s gross premiums rose 16 percent in the period from a year earlier as the company boosted sales of regular-premium products to improve margins, according to data from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Investment income rose 59 percent from a year earlier to 38.4 billion yuan, the Beijing-based company said.

Fair value gains on investment this year was 2.9 billion yuan versus last year’s 104 million yuan.

China Life slipped 0.3 percent to HK$38.10 in Hong Kong trading, trimming this year’s gain to 25 percent.

— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang

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