Insurer posts lower profit


PING An Insurance Co, China's second largest insurer, yesterday reported lower-than-expected profit and weak investment returns in 2011.

Net profit last year rose 12.5 percent to 19.5 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion), 11.4 percentage points slower than the growth in 2010 and also below analysts' estimates of 16 percent.

The company's total investment yield fell to 4 percent in 2011 from 4.9 percent a year earlier as losses in the stock market overshadowed benefits from higher interest rates.

Sun Peng, an analyst of BoC International, said the over previous 30 percent growth of the company's life insurance business will not be repeated in the first half this year due to limited capabilities of sales agents.

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