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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Great Eastern Holdings Q1 profits surged 68% to $152.9m

It attributed the growth to higher profit from its Singapore insurance business.

Great Eastern Holdings (GEH) is on a tear as its profits grew 68% YoY from $90.8m to $152.9m in the first quarter of 2018. It attributed the growth to higher profit from the Singapore insurance business offset by losses from changes in fair value of investments arising from unfavourable market conditions. 

According to its financial statement, its net premiums slipped by 11% to $2.35b due to lower Single Premium sales in Singapore. Investment income, however, grew 14% to $570.4m due to higher dividend and interest income.

Commissions received from insurers soared 95% YoY to $20.1m, whilst its asset manager arm Lion Global Investors boosted fees and other income by 16% to $20.9m.

Meanwhile, GEH lost $722.7m due to unrealised fair value losses through assets arising from unfavourable market conditions.

Gross claims, surrenders, and annuities jumped 15% to $1.45b due to higher maturity, medical, and living assurance claims as well as an increase in line with growing in-force business.

Change in insurance contract liabilities plunged 88% to $228.7m, mainly due to unfavourable market conditions. For the Non-Participating Fund, the reserves shrank due to lower Single Premium sales in Singapore.

"The group's performance may be affected by volatility in global financial markets," GEH commented. "Over the longer term, the key indicators to watch are the direction of interest rates, equity prices and foreign exchange rates."

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