China Life said on Monday it had invested $300 million in last week's initial public offering by credit card giant Visa Inc. China Life Insurance Co will cut its allocation to equities this year, Liu Lefei, the chief investment officer of China's largest life underwriter, said on Wednesday.
"We will probably take some measures to reduce the percentage of stocks and stock-related assets in our portfolio because we think Chinese and global stock markets will see big swings in 2008," Liu said at a briefing on China Life's 2007 results.
The insurer on Tuesday posted a 42 percent gain in second-half 2007 profit, topping analysts' expectations due to strong investment returns.
However, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has slumped 30 percent so far this year, hit by huge corporate fund-raising plans, worries over monetary tightening steps and weak global markets. The index rebounded 0.64 percent in Wednesday morning's session.
Liu said he expected better buying opportunities to emerge this year and next. Looking further ahead, though, China Life was bullish on the market, he said.
"In the long term we are very optimistic about investment opportunities in financials, infrastructure and some big firms," Liu said.
China Life said earlier it would increase its investments in bonds this year because of turbulence in financial markets.
It also said it would step up strategic equity investments and look for more opportunities in infrastructure.
In addition, the insurer plans to actively explore investment possibilities abroad, but Liu warned against a blind rush overseas.
China Life said on Monday it had invested $300 million in last week's initial public offering by credit card giant Visa Inc .