What Kind Of Shareholders Hold The Majority In China Life Insurance Co., Ltd.'s (TPE:2823) Shares?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 25, 2021
TWSE:2823

If you want to know who really controls China Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (TPE:2823), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Insiders often own a large chunk of younger, smaller, companies while huge companies tend to have institutions as shareholders. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.

China Life Insurance has a market capitalization of NT$108b, so it's too big to fly under the radar. We'd expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. Our analysis of the ownership of the company, below, shows that institutions are noticeable on the share registry. Let's delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about China Life Insurance.

Check out our latest analysis for China Life Insurance

ownership-breakdown
TSEC:2823 Ownership Breakdown February 25th 2021

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About China Life Insurance?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

As you can see, institutional investors have a fair amount of stake in China Life Insurance. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. When multiple institutions own a stock, there's always a risk that they are in a 'crowded trade'. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see China Life Insurance's historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there's always more to the story.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
TSEC:2823 Earnings and Revenue Growth February 25th 2021

We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in China Life Insurance. China Development Financial Holding Corporation is currently the largest shareholder, with 26% of shares outstanding. With 9.1% and 2.3% of the shares outstanding respectively, Norges Bank Investment Management and The Vanguard Group, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

Our studies suggest that the top 25 shareholders collectively control less than half of the company's shares, meaning that the company's shares are widely disseminated and there is no dominant shareholder.

Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock's expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. We're not picking up on any analyst coverage of the stock at the moment, so the company is unlikely to be widely held.

Insider Ownership Of China Life Insurance

The definition of an insider can differ slightly between different countries, but members of the board of directors always count. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Our information suggests that China Life Insurance Co., Ltd. insiders own under 1% of the company. It is a pretty big company, so it would be possible for board members to own a meaningful interest in the company, without owning much of a proportional interest. In this case, they own around NT$516m worth of shares (at current prices). It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

The general public, mostly retail investors, hold a substantial 56% stake in China Life Insurance, suggesting it is a fairly popular stock. This size of ownership gives retail investors collective power. They can and probably do influence decisions on executive compensation, dividend policies and proposed business acquisitions.

Public Company Ownership

It appears to us that public companies own 26% of China Life Insurance. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

While it is well worth considering the different groups that own a company, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks for example - China Life Insurance has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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