Taiwan’s life insurance companies’ total revenue soared to a record NT$304.2 billion (US$10.98 billion) in the first seven months of 2021, driven by investment returns.
Combined revenues of the 22 registered life insurers more than doubled from NT$150.5 billion in the same period last year, and surpassed their 2020 total of NT$206.1 billion, according to figures published by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).
“The life insurers’ revenue growth was primarily driven by investment returns,” the regulator says in a statement on August 31.
Their income from investment gains in assets such as stocks and bonds and dividends increased by NT$172.8 billion in the seven months through July from the same period of 2020. The FSC did not disclose the actual total investment income, which accounted for almost 57% of revenues in January-July 2021.
The FSC says the strong Taiwan dollar has also helped to reduce hedging costs of foreign investments for insurance companies, noting that the local dollar appreciated 1.9% against the greenback between January and August.
The regulator says insurers currently allocate more than 65% of their investable assets to foreign markets, including those denominated in US dollars.
Meanwhile, according to a report in Taiwan’s Commercial Times newspaper on September 1, 18 out of the 22 insurers earned profits in the first half of the year on the back of the global market rally.
It said Cathay Life Insurance, Fubon Life Insurance and Nan Shan Life Insurance were the best performers with NT$184.5 billion of combined revenues, accounting for 76% of the industry total in the six months to June.