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Anbang Life unit's premium income tumbles 99.6% after crackdown

[BEIJING] Anbang Insurance Group's life unit saw its premium income slump 99.6 per cent in July, after an industrywide crackdown restricting sales of short-term investment-type products.

The life unit's premium income fell to 48.8 million yuan (S$10.05 million) in July, according to Bloomberg News calculations based on a statement posted on the China Insurance Regulatory Commission's website Friday.

Anbang Life's sales from investment-type products fell 94.4 per cent from a year earlier to 686.3 million yuan.

The decline comes as Anbang is under intense government scrutiny, with authorities in June detaining Anbang's Chairman Wu Xiaohui.

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Alongside a clampdown on overseas acquisitions by firms including Anbang, the company is facing domestic restrictions on the shorter-term insurance products that once fuelled its growth.

The life insurance unit had its rating cut last month by China's Dagong Global Credit Rating for the first time, on signs the company's ability to repay debt is weakening as revenue falls.

Anbang's three-year takeover binge included the purchase of New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel, Dutch insurer Vivat NV and South Korea's Tong Yang Life Insurance.