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UPDATE 1-China regulator says insurers reap $449 bln in premium income in 2016
January 12, 2017 / 8:02 AM / in a year

UPDATE 1-China regulator says insurers reap $449 bln in premium income in 2016

* 2016 premium income 3.1 trln yuan vs 2.4 trln yuan in 2015

* 2016 on-year growth near 30pct vs 20pct in 2015

* CIRC plans to prevent risk in 3 key areas (Adds detail on risk plan, on-year income increase and background)

BEIJING, Jan 12 (Reuters) - China’s insurance regulator said on Thursday the country’s insurers made 3.1 trillion yuan ($448.6 billion) in premium income in 2016, an almost 30 percent year-on-year rise in an environment of increasingly tighter regulations in the industry.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) also said it plans to focus on risk prevention in three key areas: company governance, insurance products and fund investment, said CIRC spokesman Zhang Zhongning at a news conference in Beijing

The news comes amid a flurry of new rules from the insurance regulator to contain risks ranging from risky acquisitions to aggressive product issues.

Premium income hit 3.1 trillion yuan last year, a faster pace of growth from 2.4 trillion yuan in 2015 when it grew 20 percent on-year.

Draft CIRC proposals published earlier this month would cap individual ownership limits in insurance companies at 33 percent, down from a previous limit of 51 percent, effectively stopping conglomerates such as China Evergrande Group and Baoneng Group from using their insurance units to help fund acquisitions and riskier investments.

$1 = 6.9105 Chinese yuan Reporting by Shu Zhang and Nicholas Heath in Beijing; Writing by Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Jacqueline Wong & Shri Navaratnam

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