LIC profits from investments double in Q4

LIC profits from investments double in Q4

Mumbai: A surging stock market has helped public sector behemoth Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to register a 104 per cent growth in the profit made on its investments. For the quarter ended March 31, 2019, LIC's profit on sale of investments grew to Rs 1,4931 crore against a profit of Rs 7,330 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

Calls made to chairman and managing directors of LIC were not answered.

An LIC official said, “Most of the profits have come from equities. Also, LIC holds older government securities at attractive price and holds them to maturity normally. The margin from equities is higher compared to debt investments.”

For the financial year 2018-2019, the profit from investments was Rs 29,956 crore compared to Rs 28,527 crore in 2017-2018, a growth of 5 per cent. The Sensex had gained 17.30 per cent in FY19, the highest in four financial years.

Like banks, LIC too has been facing a problem of bad loans in the last several years as loans given to various municipalities, state governments, corporate houses have turned bad and have been classified as loss, sub-standard and doubtful. Consequent-ly, the FY19 provisions for bad assets rose by 26 per cent to Rs 3,471 crore compared to Rs 2,746 crore in FY18. The Gross NPA ratio up to the quarter ended March 31, 2019 was 6.15 per cent compared to 6.23 per cent in the previous year.

The balance sheet of LIC in FY19 stood at Rs 30.55 lakh crore compared to Rs 27.91 lakh crore in FY18.

LIC reports its financial numbers after a lag.

In the policyholders account, investments in long-term government securities and bonds rose to Rs 17.80 lakh crore compared to 16.17 lakh crore.

According to its audited figures for 2018-19, the New Business or first year premium, of LIC grew by 5.68 per cent at Rs 1.42 lakh crore. As at March end 2019, LIC collected over Rs 3.37 lakh crore of total premium income compared to Rs 3.17 lakh crore last year, a growth of 6.08 per cent.