Saturday, December 20, 2008

Insurers hold 350b yuan in capital markets

China's insurance companies held 349.9 billion yuan ($51.09 billion) of stock shares and funds over the first 10 months of the year, the industry regulatory spokesman said yesterday.

"By the end of October, insurance companies invested 60 percent of their capital in bonds and 25 percent in bank deposits," said Yuan Li, spokesman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Wu Dingfu, chairman of the CIRC, said on Saturday that China's insurance companies have great potential to increase their investment in the capital market.

Chinese insurers are allowed to invest up to 15 percent of their total assets in the capital market, but currently the proportion is only 8 percent, Wu said at the Caijing annual conference.

In recent years, the regulator has been striving to expand investment channels for insurers to boost their investment returns. Currently, the CIRC is working on plans to allow insurers to make equity investments into unlisted companies.

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