China's universal life insurance fund assets dropped by 50.3% to CNY636.3 billion (US$99.4 billion) at the end of 2017 from a year earlier, reported Reuters citing the insurance regulator.
The decline comes as authorities intensify a widespread crackdown on risks and foul play in the sector, from the use of short-term high-yield life insurance funds to finance long-term projects to executive corruption. The CIRC has pledged to focus on equity ownership, capital and investments of insurers, adding that it will take three years to resolve risks in the insurance industry.
Data released yesterday by the CIRC show that total premium income for China's insurance industry rose by 18% in 2017 to CNY3.66 trillion. This is slower than the increase of 27.5% in 2016 from a year earlier.
At the end of December 2017, total assets for the insurance sector stood at CNY16.75 trillion, up by 10.8% for the year, CIRC said.
The regulator also said total investment income for insurers in 2017 reached CNY835.2 billion, up by 18.12%, while the investment yield was 5.77%, rising 0.11 percentage points from 2016.
The insurance industry's total profit hit CNY256.7 billion in 2017, increasing by almost 30% year-on-year. Return on stock investment in 2017 hit CNY118.4 billion, up by 355.5%, while return on bonds reached CNY208.7 billion over the same period, up by 11.07% year-on-year.