China Life Insurance Co, the country’s biggest insurer by market value, said first-half net profit fell 67 percent, hit by lower investment income amid weak stock markets, falling interest rates and China’s economic slowdown.
The insurer said in a filing on Thursday its net profit for January-June fell to 10.4 billion yuan ($1.56 billion).
It estimated last month that first-half profit would drop by 65 percent to 70 percent.
The industry leader’s results echo a broader trend in the Chinese insurance business. The sector regulator said in July that first-half earnings across the industry slid 54 percent to 105.6 billion yuan, squeezed by falling investment returns.
China Life booked a record 31.5 billion yuan net profit in the same period a year ago, when earnings were boosted by bumper sales of life insurance products and gains on its investment portfolio.
The insurer’s first-half total investment income dropped 49 percent to 50.8 billion yuan, according to Thursday’s filing with the Shanghai stock exchange.
Its total investment yield dropped to 4.36 percent in the first half from 9.34 percent a year ago.
China Life’s total net premiums earned were 284 billion yuan in the first half, according to the filing. That compared with 229 billion yuan in the year-ago period.
Before the results, the insurer’s Shanghai-listed shares closed down 0.3 percent on Thursday, compared with a 0.63 percent fall for the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index.