China Life Falls After It Warns of 50% Profit Drop (Update1)

By Zhao Yidi
Bloomberg News
January 21, 2009


Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- China Life Insurance Co. led declines in the nation's insurers in Hong Kong trading after the company said that 2008 profit may have fallen by at least 50 percent.

Shares of China's biggest insurance company dropped 7.5 percent to HK$20.30 at the 4 p.m. local time close. The city's benchmark Hang Seng Index declined 2.9 percent.

China Life warned its 2008 profit may have fallen by at least 50 percent in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday. It didn't give a reason for the estimated drop.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., the nation's second-largest insurer, lost 6.9 percent to HK$33, while PICC Property & Casualty Co., China's largest non-life insurer, dropped 11 percent to HK$3.30.

China Life was assigned the fifth-highest ratings from Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings yesterday.

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