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Ping An doubles profit growth in 2007
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Ping An Insurance Group reported a 100 percent-plus growth in its net profits for 2007, according to a bulletin released by the company on Tuesday.


China's number two life insurer largely attributed the good performance to its continued expansion in insurance, banking and asset management businesses.


The company's financial details will be released in its annual report, according to the bulletin. No timetable was given for the report.


It recorded a net profit of 7.342 billion yuan (about 1.02 billion U.S. dollars) in 2006, with earnings per share at 1.19 yuan.


Ping An is currently waiting for approval by its shareholders for a 150 billion yuan financing plan, the Shanghai-based China Business News quoted a company source as saying on Tuesday. He denied rumors the company would abandon the plan amid public disputes.


On Jan. 21, the company said it planned to issue another 1.2 billion A-shares and no more than 41.2 billion yuan worth of convertible bonds.


The company's shares plunged by the daily limit of 10 percent on both Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 after the news was released.


Market analysts said the huge amount of financing, as well as the lack of explanation on how the money will be used, led to the panic among investors.


On Monday, Ping An Insurance plunged by the daily 10-percent limit to 72.53 yuan.


The company listed in Hong Kong in 2004 and in Shanghai last year.


(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2008)

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