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Ping An to keep stockbuys at 10%

Ping An Insurance (Group) of China Ltd, the world's second-biggest life insurer by market value, will keep stock investments at around 10 percent of its portfolio in the second half, despite possible market fluctuations ahead, its group president said yesterday.

"Some market fluctuations are natural. In the long run, we are optimistic about the A-share market, since there is a good economic trend in the country," said Louis Cheung, group president, at a press conference to announce the company's first-half results.

"We think 10 percent on equity investments is a rational ratio. We will also consider investments in commercial property, which could produce stable income and also help resist inflation," Cheung said.

The drop in profit, down from 9.49 billion yuan a year earlier, was mainly a result of lower investment returns, higher payouts for claims and tax provisions, the company said in a statement.

The insurer also said that it has no plans to exit its investment in troubled Belgian-Dutch financial services group Fortis, adding "the worst has passed".

"Shares of Fortis have started to climb slowly. We believe the company's insurance business could be well developed," said Cheung.

Ping An had earlier invested 23.87 billion yuan in the company for a 4.99-percent stake.

Industry analysts said its major services posted robust growth in the first half and the company advanced towards a good track of development.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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