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Moody's keeps stable outlook on Chinese life insurers

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-30 16:34
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File photo of the logo of credit rating agency Moody's Investor Services. [Photo/Agencies]

HONG KONG - Global credit rating agency Moody's has maintained a stable outlook on Chinese life insurers for the next 12 to 18 months despite the impact from a slowing wider economy, Moody's Vice-President and Senior Credit Officer Zhu Qian said Wednesday at a press conference here.

"While moderating economic growth will weaken new business growth and investment yields, this will be offset by the industry's improving business mix and capital management," Zhu said.

The Moody's said the total premium growth will continue to be supported by regular premium products and health insurance products. The rising share of those two products contributed to a robust 15.2 percent year-on-year growth pace in premium income in the first half of 2019, rebounding from a merely 0.8 percent increase in the full year of 2018.

There has also been a protection-type shift in the product mix that will help reduce industry's interest rate risk exposure, the Moody's said.

"We expect life insurers' premium growth, profitability and capital to remain stable and asset risk manageable in the next 12 to 18 months," Zhu said.

Downward pressures on the Chinese economy have been lingering since the beginning of the year as the gross domestic product (GDP) logged a 6 percent growth year-on-year in the third quarter, slower than the previous two quarters but still within the official target.

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