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Taiwan Life shares boosted by embedded value gains

TAIPEI -- Shares of Taiwan Life Insurance Co. (台灣人壽) got a boost Friday morning from a more than 10-percent increase in its embedded value (EV), thanks to more insurance policy sales and rising real estate values, dealers said.

The stock appeared resilient due to the EV leads even as the financial sector as a whole suffered a mild correction following recent gains, they said.

As of yesterday, shares of Taiwan Life had added 1.18 percent to NT$21.5 with 4.18 million shares changing hands. The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) ended down 43.02 points, or 0.46 percent, at the day's low of 9,273.79 off an early high of 9,339.83.

Investors rushed to buy into Taiwan Life shares soon after the local bourse opened in the wake of the EV rise, and momentum continued to keep the stock above the previous close, dealers said.

In a statement filed with the TWSE a day earlier, Taiwan Life said its EV at the end of 2013 totaled NT$43.52 billion, up 14 percent from a year earlier, with EV per share hitting NT$45.4, compared to the NT$44.6 recorded at the end of 2012.

The insurer said that over the one year period, its EV rose NT$5.33 billion after signing new insurance policy contracts and seeing the value of its real estate holdings increase.

Taiwan Life President Steve Lin said in the statement that with the company's intensive efforts to launch new insurance products and sales campaigns, insurance premium incomes in the first five months of this year totaled NT$30.7 billion, including NT$17.1 billion in first-year premium income.

Lin said Taiwan Life will continue to seek new investment opportunities in the global bond market in the future, while it will also target large-cap stocks in the local equity market and some other stocks which provide high dividend yields to boost its bottom line.

In addition, Lin said Taiwan Life is studying the feasibility of investing in the public sector's infrastructure projects and real estate located in southern Taiwan to further raise real estate weighting in its investment portfolio.

He added his company will be gearing up to look for chances to participate in large-sized syndication loans extended to enterprises.

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