China Life Insurance Company Limited, a leading insurer in the country, said Tuesday that it expected a plunge in 2018 net profits due to weak returns on equity market investment.
Unaudited net profits stood at 22.6 billion yuan (about 3.4 billion U.S. dollars) last year, down 50-70 percent from 2017, the company estimated in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Returns on equity investment in the open market saw steep falls last year due to weak performance of the market overall, according to the statement.
Despite lower profits, premium income of China Life rose 4.7 percent year-on-year in 2018, according to earlier company data.
The rise in premium income came amid tightened regulations last year aimed at defusing financial risks in the world's second biggest insurance market.
The sector has shown a stronger capacity to fend off risks as its overall leverage has gradually dropped and business structure improved, the regulator said in December.