Date
19 November 2017
China Life, the mainland's largest insurer, has seen its market share fall amid growing competition from smaller rivals. Photo: HKEJ
China Life, the mainland's largest insurer, has seen its market share fall amid growing competition from smaller rivals. Photo: HKEJ

China Life sees further challenges as market share falls

China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (02628.HK) expects its market share to fall further as the group shrinks its bancassurance business, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.

Lin Dairen, the mainland insurer’s president, was quoted as saying that selling single-premium plans through banks is less lucrative compared to the regular monthly-premium plans.

China Life’s income from renewed single-premium plans slid 25 percent last year, resulting in a decline in the overall renewal premiums income for the first time.

Meanwhile, smaller players are stepping into bancassurance and taking away market share from the large insurers.

China Life’s market share as of the end of 2014 stood at 26 percent, down from 30 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the total market share of the seven largest insurers in the country also fell seven percentage points from 80 percent during the period.

In the first two months of this year, large insurers in China recorded 10-percent growth in combined premiums income, while small and medium-sized players enjoyed 18 to 20 percent expansion, according to the report.

Given the sluggish growth among the biggies, Lin expects the large insurers to speed up their business consolidation this year.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 26.

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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