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Chinese insurers raise investments in stocks

CHINESE insurers raised their investments in the stock market last month, and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said it will allow smaller insurers to directly invest in equities.

Investment by insurers in the stock market rose 6.5 percent from the beginning of this year to 258.3 billion yuan (US$37.8 billion) at the end of last month while insurance holdings in stock-investment funds gained 0.83 percent to 166 billion yuan, the insurance regulator said yesterday.

The net purchase of stocks by insurers was 2.13 billion yuan last month.

"Insurers are clearly adding positions in stock-related investments," the regulator said.

The key Shanghai Composite Index has gained 16.5 percent so far this year.

The commission is working on expanding insurance investment channels, including letting smaller insurers directly invest in the stock market. The smaller insurers can invest in the stock market via funds or letting asset management companies run their capital.

The outstanding value of insurance investment capital inched up 0.02 percent from the start of the year to 3.06 trillion yuan at the end of last month.

The regulator will let insurers invest more in infrastructure, corporate bonds and stakes of non-listed firms.

Banking deposits and bonds accounted for 83.9 percent of total investment capital at the end of last month while stocks and funds took up 13.9 percent. Other investments took the final 2.2 percent.


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