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New China Life Insurance posts YOY rise in FY'17 profit, ups dividend

New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. declared a higher dividend as it reported a year-over-year increase in net profit for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The company said net profit attributable to shareholders increased to 5.38 billion yuan from 4.94 billion yuan for 2016. EPS rose to 1.73 yuan from 1.58 yuan.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus GAAP and normalized EPS estimates for the company's Hong Kong-listed shares were 2.05 yuan and 2.04 yuan, respectively, while the GAAP and normalized EPS estimates for the Shanghai-listed shares were 1.96 yuan and 1.99 yuan, respectively.

The company said its gross written premiums and policy fees for the 2017 full year fell to 109.36 billion yuan from 112.65 billion yuan. After deducting premiums ceded out, the company's net written premiums and policy fees decreased to 108.09 billion yuan from 111.71 billion yuan.

Investment income rose to 34.38 billion yuan from 32.13 billion yuan in 2016.

Meanwhile, the insurer's total benefits, claims and expenses decreased to 134.33 billion yuan from 137.01 billion yuan in the year-ago period.

New China Life Insurance said its board proposed a dividend of 52 fen per share for 2017, up from 48 fen per share for the previous year.

As of March 19, US$1 was equivalent to 6.33 Chinese yuan.