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S. Korean insurers' 2010 net likely to top 6 tln won

South Korea's life and non-life insurers are expected to post a combined net income of more than 6 trillion won (US$5.3 billion) in fiscal 2010 on strong sales and big players' impressive performances, data showed Wednesday.

   The combined earnings of the country's 16 life insurers and 15 non-life insurers in the first three quarters of fiscal 2010 totaled 4.54 trillion won, according to the data by the Korea Life Insurance Association and the Korea Non-life Insurance Association.

   Considering the additional earnings local insurers could reap in the January-March period, their combined earnings in fiscal 2010 are likely to reach 6 trillion won, market watchers said.

   The increase marks an on-year growth of nearly 50 percent from

4 trillion won in fiscal 2009. Local insurers close their books at the end of March.

   Life insurers' net income stood at a record 3 trillion won in the first three quarters of fiscal 2010, compared with 2.4 trillion won in the whole fiscal 2009, the data showed. The stronger bottom line was attributed to robust sales of permanent insurance products.

   Non-life insurers saw losses from their car insurance products worsen, but their overall net income expanded on the back of strong performances by market leaders such as Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., according to the data. (Yonhap News)