July 29, 2016 / 10:16 AM / a year ago

China Life forecasts drop of up to 70 pct in H1 profit

HONG KONG, July 29 (Reuters) - China Life Insurance Co Ltd , the country's biggest insurer by market value, said on Friday it expected its first-half net profit to fall between 65 and 70 percent, weighed down by a slide in investment income.

China Life estimated net profit for the first six months fell from 31.5 billion yuan for the same period a year earlier, when it was boosted by bumper sales of life insurance products and gains on investment protflio.

Years of breakneck growth for China's top insurers has been partly fuelled by a splurge on risky investment products that could punch multi-billion-dollar holes in their balance sheets if the slowing economy triggers heavy debt defaults.

Earlier this week, the country's insurance regulator said China's insurance industry saw its first-half earnings slide 54 percent to 105.6 billion yuan ($15.9 billion).

Reporting By Anne Marie Roantree and Bengaluru Newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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