Ping An Insurance (Group) Co of China denied that it is being investigated for tax irregularities, the Wall Street Journal reported. The insurer said the State Administration of Taxation was engaged in a "routine check" of the company and said the firm had nothing to disclose at this time. Nonetheless, the insurer’s shares dropped by 5.8% to RMB40.55 (US$5.92) on Thursday, after plunging by the 10% daily limit in morning trade. The insurer, one of China’s largest by premiums, blamed the selling of shares on speculation over the tax investigation. Analysts said Ping An’s planned US$119 million purchase of more shares in Dutch-Belgian financial services group Fortis NV wil also likely lead investors to dump Ping An shares.
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