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China Life Insurance Q3 profit surges on investment gains

[SHANGHAI] China Life Insurance Co Ltd, the country's second-biggest insurer by market value, posted a 365.5 per cent jump in third-quarter net profit as investment income soared on the back of a rising stock market and healthy premiums.

Net profit in the third quarter climbed to 14.6 billion yuan (S$2.99 billion) from 3.13 billion yuan a year earlier, China Life said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The profit gains were largely due to an increase in investment income, it said. Chinese insurers can book gains in their investment portfolios as profits.

China's blue-chip index powered to a fresh 28-month high on Thursday, underpinned by stellar earnings reports from companies such as liquor maker Moutai and as investors expect Beijing to push forward "Belt and Road" projects.

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The insurer said its 9-month net profit rose about 98 percent on year to 26.8 billion yuan from 13.5 billion yuan a year ago.

China Life posted 9-month premium income of around 450 billion yuan, around a 20 per cent increase on year.

REUTERS