Maybank's Etiqa FY18 gross premium rises amid challenging year

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 26, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Etiqa Group Insurance and Takaful closed its financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18) with a 17% gross premium growth to RM7.2 billion from a year earlier, but profit before tax (PBT) dropped 19% to RM825 million, against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty.

In a statement yesterday, Etiqa, the insurance arm of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), said global economic uncertainty impacted investment revenue across the insurance industry.

“2018 proved to be a challenging year for Etiqa against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty, which impacted investment revenue across the insurance industry.

“In 2019, we will continue to keep our focus simple by ensuring that customer's experience with us is fast and easy, and that we provide only the best advice,” said Etiqa group chief executive officer Kamaludin Ahmad.

Etiqa said FY18 gross premium increased after its life insurance and family takaful business grew 16% to RM4.3 billion while the general insurance and takaful segment rose 17% to RM2.9 billion.

Etiqa said PBT dropped 19% primarily due to adverse equity market performance and designation of equities as fair value to profit and loss, adding that such designation resulted in equities’ realised and unrealised losses in FY18 compared to FY17’s large equity gain.

For FY17, Etiqa said the company also registered investment property disposal gain.

“However, the group can still affirm its strength in the industry with total assets of RM36.1 billion, an increase of 4.7% as compared with the previous year,” Etiqa said.