(Hong Kong, Shanghai, 13 December 2021) Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter "Ping An" or the "Group", HKEX: 02318; SSE: 601318) announced the Group has won the Hong Kong Corporate Governance Excellence Award 2021 in the category of Main Board Companies - Hang Seng Index Constituent Companies. This is the sixth time Ping An has been recognized for this prestigious award.
The Hong Kong Corporate Governance and ESG Excellence Awards 2021 is co-organized by The Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies and the Centre for Corporate Governance and Financial Policy at Hong Kong Baptist University.
The judge commented: "As a previous winner of the award, Ping An continues to manifest strong leadership of the board which comprises skilled professionals who guide the Group to become an integrated financial services powerhouse with good leverage on technology that it is today. The absence of a controlling shareholder frees the Group from undue influence by a single interested party, and there is strict observation of laws and regulations about connected transactions and corporate governance. The board devotes close attention to building the right positioning, personnel, process and culture for the Group, and to developing a strong risk management framework based on big data extraction and AI to monitor risks. Its unique management structure with 3 Co-CEOs with clear division of business oversights helps steer the group through the market uncertainties in the past years with clear focus and corporate conciseness to generate strong returns to shareholders."
As China's first joint stock insurance company and an A+H dual listed company, Ping An has adopted global best practices in governance. It is ensuring stable operation of the Group through a series of innovative governance measures and proper disclosures. Ping An has developed a disclosure management system that categorizes different major events for level-by-level approval, creating a transparent, efficient and organized process. For three consecutive years, the Group has been ranked level A, the highest grade, by the Shanghai Stock Exchange for information disclosure.
Ping An values shareholder returns and the need to protect investors. From 2019 to 2021, Ping An has approved buyback schemes for A-shares. Two schemes have cumulatively bought back more than 130 million shares to date, costing close to RMB10 billion. Ping An also continues to improve the level of cash dividends. Due to sound performance and adequate solvency, an interim dividend of RMB0.88 per share was paid in 2021 representing a year-on-year increase of 10%.
In terms of risk management, Ping An established a distinctive "251" risk management framework to prevent and resolve major financial risks. Specifically, "2" refers to the dual risk matrix management and control system of the group and subsidiaries; "5" refers to information security risk, asset quality risk, liquidity risk, operational compliance risk and brand reputation risk; "1" refers to a collaborative risk management and control platform of unified standards and requirements for the whole group in terms of the overall risk governance structure, management system and information systems. As part of Ping An's strategic plan that covers financial + technology, the Group has fully integrated digital technology in its financial risk management and continuously promotes intelligent risk management and control.
Driven by its sustainability strategy, Ping An has integrated core ESG philosophies and standards into its corporate governance and management framework. It has built a scientific and professional sustainability management framework to guide its business practices. The Board of Directors oversee all ESG issues to ensure long-term and stable development of the business as well as greater sustainable value for shareholders, investors and other stakeholders. The Group announced its Green Finance+ initiative to support sustainable community development. Ping An's green investment and green credit totaled RMB208,886 million and RMB53,278 million respectively, as of September 30, 2021. Ping An's premiums for green insurance totaled RMB25,109 million in the first nine months of 2021. In October 2021, Ping An announced plans to achieve operational carbon neutrality in 2030.