Great Eastern earnings down 65% in Q3

The third quarter earnings at Great Eastern Holdings dropped 65 per cent from a year ago.
The third quarter earnings at Great Eastern Holdings dropped 65 per cent from a year ago.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Unrealised mark-to-market losses from the insurance business dragged third quarter earnings at Great Eastern Holdings down 65 per cent from a year ago.

Net profit in the three months to Sept 30 came in at S$68.4 million, the OCBC Bank subsidiary said in a filing on Friday (Oct 23).

Profit from the insurance business came in at S$68.2 million, a 62 per cent fall from the same quarter last year. This was due mainly to unrealised losses brought about by a widening of credit spreads, decline in equity prices and fall in long-term interest rates, Great Eastern said.

A few large death claims and higher medical claims in Singapore also took a toll on profits, while the weakening of the Malaysian ringgit against the Singapore dollar dented contributions from operations in Malaysia, the group said.

Third quarter earnings per share stood at 15 cents, down from 41 cents a year earlier.

Net asset value per share was S$12.59 as at Sept 30, up from S$12.41 as at Dec 31 last year.

Mr Norman Ip, director and acting group chief executive, said: "The group delivered robust growth in new sales during the quarter, particularly in Singapore, with the introduction of new products.

"Moving into the fourth quarter, we have lined up more new products and are optimistic of sustaining the existing sales momentum."

marilee@sph.com.sg