The Taiwanese insurance industry is forecast to make profits exceeding NT$150 billion (US$5 billion) this year, on the back of strong investment income.
For the first 10 months of this year, the industry posted profits totalling NT$125.4 billion, 16.65% higher than for the corresponding period last year. The gains for January - October this year also exceeded that for the whole of last year, according to data from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).
The life sector raked in profits of BT$112.1 billion from January to October while the non-life market posted profits of CNY13.3 billion.
Officials say that an analysis shows that the main source of this year's profits is dividends from investment and sales of shares and bonds.
Several insurers, in a bid to minimise foreign exchange losses from the rise of the Taiwanese currency, have taken advantage of the rising stock market to sell equities holdings. The Taiwanese currency has appreciated by 7% against the dollar so far this year.
Separately, Mr Wellington Koo, FSC Chairman, told Reuters that the regulator was concerned about foreign exchange risks facing its insurers with the Taiwan dollar hovering near its strongest level against the US dollar in three years, as they have invested heavily in foreign exchange-instruments such as Formosa bonds.
To mitigate such risks, the FSC intends to raise the insurers' reserve requirement ratios next year and also roll out new management rules, he said.