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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China Life Surpasses AT&T

bloombergPassers-by reading newspapers under an ad for China Life in Beijing.
SINGAPORE-- China Life Insurance surpassed AT&T in market value, giving China five of the world's 10 largest companies, compared with three for the United States.

China's stock rally has almost tripled its benchmark index this year, prompting securities regulators to say on Oct. 16 that the market holds "great risks.'' The nation's households are pouring more of their $2.3 trillion savings into shares to beat inflation, which exceeds the return on bank deposits, and to profit from the world's fastest growth among major economies.

"China is one of the most exciting economies,'' said Jim Rogers, the chairman of New York-based Beeland Interests Inc. "The market is willing to pay a lot more for future growth.''

Beijing-based China Life, the nation's largest insurer, gained 1.1 percent in Hong Kong and added 6.7 percent in Shanghai, ahead of its third-quarter earnings announcement today, valuing the company at 1.94 trillion yuan ($259.1 billion.) San Antonio-based AT&T, the biggest U.S. phone company, is valued at $252.9 billion.

The People's Bank of China has told lenders to set aside more reserves eight times this year, and has raised interest rates five times to help cool the economy.