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Ping An insurance quarterly profit rises amid stock rally

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Ping An Insurance, China's largest insurer by market value, said third-quarter profit rose 8 per cent as its businesses recovered from the coronavirus pandemic and a stock-market rally bolstered investment returns.

[BEIJING] Ping An Insurance, China's largest insurer by market value, said third-quarter profit rose 8 per cent as its businesses recovered from the coronavirus pandemic and a stock-market rally bolstered investment returns.

Net income climbed to 34.4 billion yuan (S$6.97 billion) in the three months ended Sept 30, from 31.9 billion yuan a year earlier, the Shenzhen-based company said Tuesday. That compares with a 30 per cent slump in first-half profit.

Operating profit, which Ping An says better reflects performance because it strips out short-term volatility, rose by 4.5 per cent in the first nine months of the year, accelerating from a 1.2 per cent first-half gain.

Ping An's efforts to focus more on higher-value products and trim less-productive agents for better long-term growth have weighed on its recovery from the Covid-led disruptions earlier in the year. New business value, a gauge of the profitability of new life policies, dropped 27 per cent in the first nine months, steeper than a 24 per cent fall in the first half as it "remained difficult" to hold large-scale offline campaigns, the company said.

Investment income jumped 46 per cent for the September-quarter, the company said. The benchmark Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 8 per cent in the third quarter, reversing declines in the first half of the year.

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