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Chinese, Japanese insurers top region by market cap in Q4'18

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Chinese, Japanese insurers top region by market cap in Q4'18

Despite sinking share prices, Chinese and Japanese insurers continued to dominate S&P Global Market Intelligence's ranking of the 20 largest insurers in Asia-Pacific by market capitalization in the 2018 fourth quarter.

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. remained the region's largest insurer from the third quarter, even though its market cap fell 16.0% to US$154.12 billion since the end of September.

The top seven spots were unchanged from the previous quarter, although their market cap shrank by between 7.0% to 27.9% during the final three months of 2018.

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Japan-based Sompo Holdings Inc. saw the biggest decline in market cap of 31.6% quarter over quarter, which resulted in the insurer tumbling five spots to No. 16. The Japanese nonlife insurer on Nov. 19 lowered its consolidated ordinary profit and net income guidance for the full year in part because of losses related to natural disasters in Japan.

China Reinsurance (Group) Corp. rose three spots to No. 20 at the end of 2018, after its market cap rose 3.2% from the previous quarter to US$8.68 billion. The Chinese reinsurer was the only one in the top 20 that saw an increase in its market cap during the fourth quarter.

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Among S&P Global Market Intelligence's regional insurance indexes, the SNL Japan Insurance Index was the worst performing, with total return falling 12.7% over the last three months of 2018.