best insurance stock - China Life Insurance expanding business 2013 : China Life Insurance Co. (LFC) will primarily focus on expanding its life insurance business this year despite growing pressure due to slower sales in the sector, President Yang Mingsheng said Thursday.
The company will also eye investment opportunities in state-backed projects in regions like the Yangtze River Delta and the Zhujiang Delta, Mr. Yang said at a press briefing after the company reported a 40% drop in 2012 net profit late Wednesday, citing a "decline in investment yield" and an "increase in impairment losses resulting from continued weakness in capital markets."
Net profit for the 12 months ended Dec. 31 was 11.06 billion yuan ($1.78 billion) compared with CNY18.33 billion a year earlier, China's top life insurer by premiums said.
Mr. Yang also said bancassurance sales are likely to continue falling this year as insurers face increasing competition from bank products such as high-yield wealth management products.
China Life's vice president Liu Jiade said local stock markets may see some improvement this year, which would help improve the company's investment yield as well as bring down impairment losses.
Investment income for 2012 rose to CNY80.01 billion from CNY64.82 billion, while investment yield fell to 2.79% from 3.51%, and impairment losses more than doubled to CNY31.05 billion from CNY12.94 billion, it said late Wednesday.