BEIJING, May 3 (Reuters) - China's insurance sector recorded 1.59 trillion yuan ($230.7 billion) in premium income in the first quarter, up 32 percent from a year earlier, the country's insurance regulator said in an online statement on Wednesday.
Compared with a 42 percent on-year rise in the first quarter of 2016, the rate of growth of the insurance industry slowed down due to tighter regulations as part of Beijing's broader effort to de-leverage the financial system and curb systematic risks.
Premium income earned by life insurance companies rose 37 percent on year to 1.3 trillion yuan during the first three months, while property and casualty insurers received 263.5 billion yuan in premium income.
Insurers earned 185.6 billion yuan in investment income during the January-March period, up 34 percent from a year earlier. Equity investment accounted for 13 percent of their total outstanding investment.
Total insurance industry assets stood at 16.18 trillion yuan by end-March, up 7 percent from the start of the year.
$1 = 6.8921 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting By Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier