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Taiwan: Strong local currency a heavy drag on life sector's 2017 profits

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Mar 2018

Asia Taiwan Life & Health Investment Management

The Taiwanese life insurance industry reported record net forex losses of NT$176.1 billion (US$6 billion) for 2017, as the local currency strengthened against the greenback, according to data from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).
   Gross exchange loss was NT$648.8 billion while hedging gains stood at NT$456.8 billion. 
   The FSC said that the life sector showed pre-tax profits of NT$116.7 billion, the fourth year running in which it posted operating net gains exceeding NT$100 billion. If the net forex losses of NT$176.1 billion were not included, the industry would have reported net profits of NT$292.8 billion for 2017. This means that net forex losses eroded net non-forex gains by 60%.
   Total life insurance premiums in Taiwan reached NT$3,209 billion last year, 5.2% higher than in 2016, according to statistics from the Life Insurance Association. First-year life insurance premiums totalled NT$1,059 billion last year, a decline of 11.4% compared to 2016. A 
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