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The 2014 All-China Research Team: Insurance, No. 1: Shengbo Tang

< The 2014 All-China Research TeamShengbo TangChina International Capital Corp.First-Place Appearances: 2

Total Appearances: 3

Analyst Debut: 2012

Shengbo Tang, 33, repeats atop this roster. “He has a very in-depth understanding of China’s insurance industry and policy, as he used to be an actuary,” attests one booster, referring to the China International Capital Corp. analyst’s four-year stint at Hong Kong’s China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co. Working out of Shenzhen, Tang is bullish on China’s life insurers and bearish on the property/casualty group. Overall, the sector trailed the domestic broad market by 4.1 percentage points year to date through late November, losing 4.6 percent. On the life insurance side, the State Council’s pilot tax-deferred pension plans scheme — which will be launched at the end of 2015 as part of social security reform — “has the potential to revalue life insurers in the decades ahead,” explains Tang, “and offers a sector-rerating opportunity investors shouldn’t miss.” Regarding p/c insurers, he counsels patience because these providers have “a long way to go to hit the bottom of this round of the underwriting cycle.” Against this backdrop, Tang recommends that investors buy several life-dominated insurers: Beijing’s China Life Insurance Co.; Shanghai-based China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co.; China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co. of Hong Kong; and Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China, which is headquartered in Shenzhen. “With historic low valuations and recovering new-business value growth,” he adds, “I think these names should do well after two years of underperformance.”

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