China Life Insurance, the nation’s largest life insurer, said profit fell 38% in the first half as declines in the stock market eroded investment returns and pandemic-induced lockdowns hampered policy sales, reports Bloomberg. Net income dropped to RMB 25.42 billion ($3.7 billion), from RMB 40.97 billion a year earlier, the Beijing-based company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange Thursday.
Chairman Bai Tao is under pressure to bolster profitability during the pandemic and an economic slowdown. He took the helm earlier in the year from Wang Bin who fell under a corruption probe, inheriting a company that’s seeking to sell more products with bigger margins.
New business value, which gauges the profitability of new life policies sold, slid 14% in the first half. That narrowed from the measure’s 23% decline for all of last year, and compares with a 14.8% drop projected by China International Capital analysts led by Mao Qingqing.