Ping An Says to Keep ‘Open Attitude’ on Fortis Plan

April 9, 2009

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd will keep an open attitude on plans to restructure financial group Fortis and welcomes a better plan for shareholders, its president Louis Cheung said on Thursday.

Cheung told a news conference that Ping An’s risk of further losses on its investment in Fortis this year was very low.

Ping An on Wednesday posted a 1.34 billion yuan ($196 million) loss for October-December, hit by its investment in Fortis. Earnings for the full year, excluding the Fortis investment, came in largely in line with market expectations.

Ping An is the world’s second-biggest insurer by market value, and is part owned by HSBC Holdings Plc.

Ping An’s profit slumped 99 percent to 268 million yuan ($39.2 million) in 2008, after more than doubling in 2007.

(US$1=6.832 Yuan) (Reporting by Samuel Shen, Writing by Jacqueline Wong, Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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