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Insurers' earnings soar 37.3% in Jan.-Sept.

South Korean insurance firms' earnings jumped more than 37 percent in the first nine months of this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and a bullish stock market, data showed Thursday.

The combined net profit of insurance companies operating in South Korea came to 7.63 trillion won ($6.4 billion) in the January-September period, up 37.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Life insurers saw their combined net profit expand 17.8 percent on-year to 3.69 trillion won last year, while that of non-life insurers spiking 62.6 percent to 3.94 trillion won.

The FSS said life insurance companies fared better in the nine-month period thanks to increased income from the bullish run of the stock market and rising interest rates.

Non-life insurers' earnings rose sharply as their loss ratio for auto insurance was lower than a year earlier in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it added.

Life insurance firms' premium income went up 0.9 percent on-year to 82.24 trillion won, with that of non-life insurers increasing 3.5 percent to 73.39 trillion won.

Their aggregate assets stood at 1,338.33 trillion won as of end-September, up 1.3 percent from the end of last year, and their return on equity rose 1.88 percentage points to 7.33 percent. (Yonhap)