The latest: Online insurer ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co. Ltd. (6060.HK) announced Wednesday its aggregate gross written premiums in the first eight months of this year totaled about 20.7 billion yuan ($2.85 billion), up 32.3% from 15.65 billion yuan in the same period last year.
Looking up: ZhongAn’s rise was significantly ahead of its peers like leading insurers Ping An Insurance (2318.HK; 601318.SH), China Life (2628.HK; 601628.SH) and China Pacific Insurance (2601.HK; 601601.SH), whose premium growth ranged from about 5.6% to 9.2% for the same period.
Take Note: The latest growth figure marked a significant slowdown from ZhongAn’s 37.2% rise in gross written premiums in the first seven months of the year, indicating growth was weak in August.
Digging Deeper: Established in 2013 by Ant Financial, Tencent (700.HK) and Ping An Insurance, ZhongAn is the first and largest online insurance company in China, and was listed in Hong Kong in 2017. The company’s comprehensive solvency margin ratio stood at 263% in June, down 33 percentage points from the end of last year. In order to replenish capital to improve its solvency, the company announced on Tuesday that it will publicly issue up to 5 billion worth of 10-year redeemable capital supplementary bonds in the national interbank bond market.
Market Reaction: ZhongAn shares fluctuated slightly in Thursday trade, closing unchanged at HK$24.15 by the midday break. The stock now trades in the middle of its 52-week range.
Translation by A. Au
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