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Ping An interested in upping Fortis stake to 7%Font size
Belgian-Dutch lender and insurer Fortis disclosed in its annual report that China's Ping An is interested in upping its stake to 7% from 4.18%. "Ping An has declared that it ultimately wishes to obtain a 7% shareholding in Fortis, and Fortis has stated that it intends to explore possible means to that end, without prejudice to what is stated above," the bank said. Under the agreement, if Fortis offers more favorable terms to any other shareholder, it will have to offer those same terms to Ping An.
Ping An announced its FY07 final results with Net Profit and turnover up 138.43% to Rmb 18.62 bn and 55% to Rmb 137 bn respectively. EPS surged 105% to Rmb 2.61. The group proposed a final dividend of Rmb 0.5 per share or Rmb 0.7 DPS for FY07. Dividend payout declined from 45.52% in the previous yaer to 26.82%. All of its three core business segments, namelyinsurance, banking and investment, grew fast but steadily, leading the Group to further establish itself as a leading ¡¥financial supermarket¡¦ in China.
Maintain the growth of insurance businesses
Total premium income exceeded Rmb100 bn for the first time. The written premiums and policy fees of life insurance and property as well ascasualty insurance went up by 11.7% to Rmb 59.9 bn and 27.5% to Rmb 20.5 bn, which areaccounted for approximately 16% and 10.3% of the total gross written premiums respectively. The Number of individual life sales agents was 301.800, up 46.91 percentage points from the beginning of FY07, however, the index of productivity and professionalism was still in prospective trend. Influenced by the PROC¡¦s six upward adjustments of the interest rates of deposit and loans, the percentages of traditional insurance premium was declining and investment insurance vice verse.
Integrate the banking business
Its banking business was successfully transformed strategically, which will become one of the most important sources of income to the Group. Most importantly, the enhacement of its distribution channels will facilitate the group¡¦s insurance and banking services to perform cross selling. As at theend of 31 Dec 07,Shenzhen Ping An Bank¡¦s total assets was Rmb141.6 bn; net assets realized Rmb 6.3 bn; loans to customers amounted to Rmb 61.9bn; customer deposits recorded to Rmb 113 bn. The asset quality was improving as the capital adequacy ratio and non-performing loan ratio were 9.1% and 0.8% respectively.
Boost the security and investment business
Taking full advantage of the outburst in trading volume last year, both the traditional and creative products of Ping An Securities developed quickly,which realized net profit of up to Rmb 1.5 bn to the company. Also due to the bullish sentiment, Ping An Securities captured the net investment income of Rmb 51.6 bn. But we estimate the investment income will be immensely shrunk for the deep and continuous fall of the A shares market in 2008.
The company acquired 50% of the issued share of Fortis at an indicative price of £á2.15 bn. At the end of last year, the scale of Fortis asset management amounted to more than £á133 bn. Apart from earnings contributions, the acquisition will help Ping An to develop its asset management business in China sinceFortis possesses strong investment operations capabilityand management competence. Strategically, Ping An wisely takes the advantages on its strong financial position andRmb to acquire valuableasset when Europe and US financial institutions are suffering from sub-prime mortgage and credit crunch. This indicates thestrong determination of thegroup to expand overseas and we believe this is the core value of Ping An¡¦s long term development.
We revised the FY08 and FY09 NP to Rmb 24.37bn and Rmb 28.65bn respectively, up 30.25% and 17.68%. Translated into 15.7X and 13.32X 2008 and 2009 forecast PER, respectively. (If accounted for the proposed new A-share issuance, 2008 and 2009 PER will increase to 20.79X and 17.68X respectively). Ping An share price has been corrected for more than 50% and we believe the current price has already factored in the worries over its huge A-share issuance plan and the drop in FY08 investment returns. China insurance market remains on its high growth stage.Ping An deserves a higher rating for its innovative and aggressive strategies in penetrating the lucrative rural insurance market. We give it a BUY rating with a 6-month TP of HK$75, representing 20X on FY¢¯8F EPS.
ANALYSTS still rate listed insurers such as Ping An Insurance (Group) Co a "buy" on strong premium growth potential, despite recent drops in their market value.
Strong growth in premiums and the potential to claw back market share from smaller rivals are still factors to support big-name insurers' profits this year, said Xu Shoude, a China Jianyin Investment analyst, in a report.
Xu expects Ping An to rise to 93.7 yuan (US$13.37) by the end of this year, up 59 percent on its Thursday closing price. He also forecast China Life Insurance to reach 56.5 yuan, up 80 percent on recent prices. China Pacific Insurance is also expected to top 52.4 yuan from the current 27.15 yuan.
Life insurance premiums grew 66.95 percent to 76.28 billion yuan in January. In February, the figure increased to 67.84 billion yuan, up 72.39 percent from a year ago.
"The faster-than-expected growth signaled the prosperity of the industry amid rising purchasing power from residents," Xu said.
Bigger companies are likely to claim back lost ground from smaller rivals, he added.
Smaller insurers saw rising premiums last year by selling unit-linked products, where performance is tied to the stock market.
While such products may not be cheered by policy holders this year, insurers which mainly sell traditional life insurance may find a chance to fight back, the report said.
The industry's profit growth is unlikely to be as strong as last year amid the sluggish stock market. But it is unlikely to see returns of less than 5.5 percent.
The view is echoed by Sinolink Securities, which rated Ping An and Pacific Insurance "buy" and China Life "hold." Shares of Ping An have lost 44 percent this year, mainly dragged down by its giant funding plan amid a sluggish market.
Its rivals China Life and Pacific Insurance have lost similar momentum in share price
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd.reported a record high net profit
The company’s “three-pillar” strategy further strengthened Shanghai, Hong Kong, 19 March 2008– Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An” or “the Group”, HKEX: 2318; SSE: 601318) today announced its 2007 annual results.
Benefiting from favourable economic conditions, Ping An achieved a healthy growth across all its business segments and a record high net profit in 2007.
Highlights of the 2007 results, under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), are: •
Total income and net profit increased by 55.4% and 140.2% compared to the corresponding period last year to RMB137,051 million (RMB88,198 million in 2006) and RMB19,219 million (RMB8,000 million in 2006) respectively
• Total assets and total equity increased by 39.8% and 138.4% to RMB 691,298 million (RMB494,435 million in 2006) and RMB113,851 million (RMB47,750 million in 2006) respectively • Earnings per share reached RMB2.61 (RMB1.27 in 2006)
• Gross written premiums, policy fees and premium deposits in the life insurance business reached RMB79,183 million (RMB68,202 million in 2006)
• Net profit from the banking business increased significantly to RMB1,537 million
• The Group’s wealth management trust assets increased to RMB47,519 million (RMB16,677 million in 2006) Under PRC Accounting Standards, the Group’s net profit was RMB15,581 million, an increase of 107.9% over 2006.
Ping An and Fortis to enter into a global asset management partnership
19th March 2008 Ping An and Fortis to enter into a global asset management partnership Ping An intends to acquire a 50% stake in Fortis Investments
Fortis and Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An” or “Ping An Group”) today jointly announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to form a global asset management partnership. Ping An intends to acquire a 50% equity stake in Fortis Investments*, the global asset management arm of Fortis, for a consideration of EUR 2.15bn (RMB 24.02bn**). Through this partnership, Ping An would significantly advance its strategy to establish a global asset management business and a Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (“QDII”) platform while Fortis would significantly accelerate the development of its business in both China and Asia Pacific. According to the MOU, Fortis Investments would be re-branded “Fortis Ping An Investments”, and “平安富通投资” in Chinese. Fortis Ping An Investments’ board will comprise twelve directors; that is six non-executive, two executive and four independents.
Fortis and Ping An will each nominate three non-executive directors and propose two independents. The senior management of the company will remain unchanged and will benefit from the Asian expertise of key Ping An executives. The current strategy of Fortis Investments is fully supported by both shareholders.
The proposed transaction would create a unique asset management franchise with Fortis Ping An Investments benefiting from two sizeable home markets, the Benelux and China, while leveraging the obvious synergies and increased global scale brought by the integration of ABN AMRO Asset Management. The partnership, with its world class combined industry expertise and product diversification, would benefit from focused knowledge sharing, including the mutual exchange of employees and the provision of consulting services. Both parties firmly believe that the partnership will result in both a higher long term growth rate and a greater quality and diversity of earnings.
Fortis Ping An Investments will continue to be consolidated by Fortis. Fortis Investments has approximately EUR 23 million (net of provision) in CDO and CLO exposure as at December 31, 2007. Fortis has agreed to fully indemnify Ping An against any impairment in their value.
Last November, Ping An acquired a 4.18% equity stake in Fortis, which has subsequently been raised to 4.99%. Since then, both firms have explored several areas of potential business cooperation, with asset management taking priority. Asset management represents one of the most attractive sectors within the financial services industry, given growth of personal wealth, increased demand for retirement provision and burgeoning economic growth in China and other emerging markets. Mr Peter Ma Mingzhe, Chairman and CEO of Ping An said, “The proposed partnership is a unique and strong investment opportunity. It is perfectly aligned with Ping An's long term development strategy and at the same time fully consistent with our requirements for financial investments. This acquisition will generate high financial returns and stable cash flows, and also allows Ping An to benefit from the rich brand heritage, the world-class management and industry know-how in running a diversified product offering, which have been cultivated by Fortis and ABN AMRO over decades. Combined, these benefits will considerably accelerate Ping An’s commitment to the development of a highly competitive global financial services platform. Given the asset management sector’s enormous growth potential globally, and in China in particular, Fortis Ping An Investments should quickly become an important earnings driver for Ping An. By elevating our core capabilities in asset management in the domestic market, this transaction also supports the strengthening of our overall competitiveness and the implementation of our balanced “three business pillars” strategy, focusing on insurance, banking and investments/asset management. Finally, Ping An’s brand will now be introduced to leading financial markets globally through our new partnership utilising a well established network and thereby becoming a truly international diversified, financial institution. ” Jean-Paul Votron, CEO of Fortis commented, “The creation of a global platform by combining Fortis Investments and the majority of the ABN AMRO Asset Management activities*** with Ping An is a unique opportunity to accelerate our growth plans for asset management, particularly within high growth markets such as China and elsewhere in Asia. We have consistently stated that to compete effectively in this sector at a global level requires both scale and expertise. Recent developments such as the acquisition of ABN AMRO and the creation of this important partnership with Ping An exemplify the extent of our global ambitions as a company. Combining Fortis Investments and ABN AMRO Asset Management, with assets under management of around EUR 245 billion*** was a critical first step, creating important synergies and a significantly enhanced global footprint. Our partnership with Ping An will provide us with unique access to the fast-growing Chinese and Asian markets, leveraging Ping An’s well established brand and extensive distribution capabilities for the benefit of our clients. The strategic growth ambition of both Fortis and Ping An are aligned and together we are creating a truly global asset manager with a greater profit growth potential in the future. ” The transaction remains subject to final agreements and regulatory approvals.
Ping An "very unlikely" to carry out mega fund-raising plan (originally CNY160 billion) in short term, says UOB KayHian. Notes A-shares' newfound market confidence fragile, there's chatter CSRC studying rules regarding secondary financing, will possibly introduce restrictions to further stabilize A-share market.
Notes company hasn't filed application with CSRC, even if it does, unclear if CSRC will give it the go-ahead. Still, believes plan "eventually" will happen, one possibility is for Ping An to issue combination of A-, H-shares to ease burden on A-share market;
China Life (2628.HK) down 0.6% at HK$32.85, Ping An (2318.HK) down 0.9% at HK$69.80, slightly underperforming HSI's 0.4% drop, as some investors concerned about impact from Sichuan earthquake on life insurers. UOB KayHian says China Life has about 40% market share in Sichuan province, is primary player in "rural insurance", with highest exposure among major life insurers. "However, rural insurance policies typically involve low premiums and low payouts. If combined with the already low levels of insurance density, this should limit the overall impact on China Life," it says. Adds Ping An (2318.HK) to experience little adverse effect as its primary markets are located in more affluent coastal regions of China, unaffected by earthquake. Keeps Buy on both stocks.
Credit Suisse revisiting Ping An forecasts on weak premium data, investment environment; cautious on 1H results.
Says Ping An's life premium growth momentum remains solid at 28% on-year, but not exciting compared with peers; 1H08 securities arm's profit fell 41% on-year to CNY401 million. Keeps at Outperform, target at HK$83.00.
: Jan-Sep Life Insurance Premiums CNY77.41B
-Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. (2318.HK) said Friday its unaudited premiums for life insurance totaled CNY77.41 billion in the January-September period.
The company, 16.8%-owned by HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC), didn't provide a year-earlier figure for comparison, but Ping An said in an earlier statement its life premium income in the first nine months of last year totaled CNY59.66 billion.
The company, China's second-largest insurer by premiums after China Life Insurance Co., said its property and casualty insurance unit had premium income of CNY20.76 billion in the nine months ended Sept. 30. Premiums for its health insurance unit totaled CNY24.02 million, while that of its annuity unit reached CNY1.01 billion during the period. -
* Deutsche Bank Real-Time Indikationen basieren auf Preisen von der Deutschen Bank emittierten Produkten. Diese Produkte versuchen, den jeweiligen Index 1:1 zu tracken.
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