Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are in the process of rolling out a version update which is impacting some nabtrade functionality, including buy/sell buttons and certain page loads. If you are a Chrome or Edge user and are experiencing these problems, please visit the following FAQ to review the steps that need to be taken to prevent this issue from occurring.
I remain structurally bullish view on Chinese consumer-facing companies. With strong population growth and rising wages I think the outlook for the Chinese consumer is strong. Today I thought I’d update you on Ping An Insurance (2318HK), a company I think has every chance of growing at a multiple of Chinese GDP over the next 10 years.
Ping An is a Hong Kong listed Chinese insurance company, leveraged to numerous structural growth themes and is a significant regulatory reform beneficiary. Ping An announced a very solid FY17 result last week and we continue to see a strong path of growth ahead for the company.
The results again highlighted Ping An’s best-in-class insurance status. Net profit after tax (NPAT) was 5-10% ahead of market expectations with traditional insurance (life and property and casualty) and internet segments (or Ping An’s fintech investments) all beating consensus comfortably. The RMB 89 billion reported earnings were up 43% on FY16 (RMB 76.2 billion was consensus), and life NBV (net book value) growth of 33% was very strong. Investment income also climbed 12%, new business value increased 33%, and the net premium earned increased 34%.
Source: Ping An
A key positive surprise was the increase in dividend. The company quoted that the “Board of Directors suggested raising the cash dividend ratio to 30.8%, which drives the dividend per share for 2017 up by 100.0% year on year to RMB 1.50”. This is an increase from 21% to 30.8% in the payout ratio, and highlights the confidence in the company’s prospects and performance. The positive 10.9 billion RMB surprise from the ‘Ping An Doctor’ restructuring should also be noted. Ping An Doctor has been accepted by the Hong Kong stock exchange for an IPO (expected to come to market late April).
The result also showed Ping An’s commitment to their technology offering. Lufax (Ping An’s online lending platform) became profitable for the first time this year following 97% growth in loans under management. Ping An now has 436 million internet users, around 10% of the total internet users globally, with 100% growth in the last two years, and 200% in the last three years. The technology offering currently includes online banking platforms and facial recognition systems that include the ability to detect if borrowers are lying (might be useful for mortgage brokers in Australia!!). The benefits of such investments are starting to show through in the results, with the RoE of their Fintech and HealthTech business (41%) already achieving two times the ROE of the group as a whole.
We continue to believe there are numerous structural tailwinds for Ping An including:
The following slides released with the results highlight the impressive track record of Ping An over the last 14 years.
Source: Ping An
I continue to believe we can find strong growth prospects in Asia, with structural tailwinds and at reasonable valuations. Ping An is a classic example of what I believe is a structural growth stock, yet trading on a value multiple.