Monday, March 31, 2008

China Life woos bigger chances at home

China Life<601628><2628>, the nation's biggest insurer and largest institutional investor, said it would adopt a conservative investment strategy this year to focus on its core business at home rather than expanding aggressively overseas.

The strategy is quite different from its chief rival, Ping An Insurance<601318><2318>, which last week bought half of Fortis bank's asset management business at a cost of EUR 2.15 billion (US$3.38billionn). Ping An, the country's second largest, is also planning a large share and convertible bond sale to fund further global expansion.

At present, the investment opportunity at home is better than that of overseas as the Chinese government will further increase bank interest rates. It creates a great chance for the development of the insurance business in China, said Yang Chao, board chairman with China Life.

Last year, the company realized a profit of RMB 38.9 billion (US$5.6 billion), almost doubled from a year earlier thanks to a bull market.

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