SINGAPORE (Apr 18): United Overseas Insurance (UOI), the insurance arm of United Overseas Bank (UOB), reported 1Q19 earnings increased 153% to $11.4 million, compared to $4.5 million in 1Q18.

Gross premium written saw a 2.5% increase to $27.9 million from $27.2 million a year ago, mainly due to an increase in fire and reinsurance classes of insurance.

Underwriting profit was 16.1% higher at $5.9 million compared to $5.0 million last year, mainly due to a 29% y-o-y increase in net commission, as a result of higher reinsurance commission recoveries from reinsurers.

During the quarter, the company recorded net fair value gains on investments of $6.6 million, compared to a loss of $1.5 million last year.

Exchange losses for 1Q19 narrowed by 68.2% to $0.9 million from $2.9 million in the previous year.

At the end of March, the company’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $66.2 million.

In its outlook, the company continues to face intensified competition within the local insurance market. Amid such developments, UOI says that it will continue to exercise its underwriting prudence as well as grow its bancassurance business, develop its intermediary distribution channels and step up on the digitalisation of its insurance services.

Shares in UOI closed 2.33% lower at $7.12 on Thursday.