* Insurer to re-invest $72.5 bln in 2017
* Will focus on fixed-income, alternative assets
* Overseas acquisitions also focal point
(Adds details, quotes)
By Shu Zhang and Engen Tham
BEIJING, March 24 China Life Insurance Co Ltd
, the country's largest insurer, said on
Friday it will focus mainly on alternative and fixed-income
investments when it reinvests more than $72.5 billion of assets
The insurer's comments come a day after the company reported
a 45 percent drop in annual profits, the first decline in four
years, due to an interest rate drag on investment income.
With a large volume of investment assets due to mature,
China Life needs to re-invest more than 500 billion yuan
($72.53 billion) in assets in 2017, Lin Dairen, president of
China Life, said at a press conference following the release of
the company's annual results.
The focus will be on fixed-income and alternative
investments, Vice President Zhao Lijun told reporters, without
"The rise in market interest rates currently provide a very
good window for China Life to invest in fixed-income products,"
"Most importantly, we still need to increase investments in
alternative and non-standard assets," Zhao said, citing their
longer duration and higher return compared with traditional
The insurer is also seeking opportunities to increase its
investments overseas, including entrusted investments and direct
investments in financial assets, real estate and private firms,
But China's restrictions of overseas investments as part of
capital control efforts last year has had some impact on the
insurer's global allocations, Zhao added.
"We have a series of overseas investment projects in the
pipeline and we are waiting for opportunities," Zhao said.
China Life said net profit for 2016 fell 45 pct to 19.13
billion yuan ($2.8 billion) from 34.7 billion yuan a year
earlier, due to a 22.8 percent drop in investment income partly
caused by stock market volatility.
Zhao said China Life will maintain a "prudent" approach to
stock market investments this year, as the Chinese stock markets
"lack the foundation" for a sharp rise.
($1 = 6.8938 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Editing by Randy Fabi)