Ping An Profit Rises After Stock Rally Boosts Investment Returns

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., China’s second-biggest insurer, said first-quarter profit rose 85 percent as stock-market rallies boosted investment returns and banking revenue expanded.

Net income climbed to 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion), or 2.19 yuan a share, in the three months ended March 31 from 10.8 billion yuan [$1.728 billion], or 1.29 yuan a share, a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday.

A 16 percent jump in the nation’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index in the first quarter bolstered the value of Chinese insurers’ equity holdings as the government took steps to stem an economic slowdown. Unit Ping An Bank Co. said last week profit rose 11 percent in the period as commissions from services jumped.

Investment income almost tripled from a year earlier to 33.9 billion yuan [$5.424 billion], the company said.

Bigger China Life Insurance Co. said on Tuesday that its first-quarter profit jumped 70 percent on investment returns.

Ping An shares fell 1 percent to HK$110.20 [$14.22], trimming this year’s rally to 39 percent.

–With assistance from Bei Hu in Hong Kong.