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Great Eastern Q2 profit down 29% on non-operating losses

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Great Eastern Holdings' second-quarter net profit fell 29 per cent to S$169 million from S$237.6 million for the same year-ago period on the back of non-operating losses.

GREAT Eastern Holdings' second-quarter net profit fell 29 per cent to S$169 million from S$237.6 million for the same year-ago period on the back of non-operating losses.

Non-operating loss was S$26 million versus a non-operating profit of S$15.3 million for Q2 2018. Great Eastern attributed the loss to "higher valuation of long-term insurance contract liabilities" due to "a decline in the discount rate used to value these liabilities".

This offset better investment performance, and a operating profit of S$161.7 million, which increased 3 per cent from S$156.7 million for fiscal 2018's second-quarter.

Earnings per share for OCBC's insurance arm was S$0.36 for the quarter to June 30, versus S$0.51 for the year-ago period.

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Great Eastern will pay out a dividend of 10 Singapore cents per share on Aug 30 for fiscal 2019 ending Dec 31, 2019, the same as the preceding financial year.

Total weighted new sales fell 9 per cent to S$299.9 million from S$330.6 million a year ago.

For the first half of 2019, net profit rose 31 per cent to S$511.7 million versus S$390.5 million a year ago. Operating profit fell 2 per cent, while non-operating profit jumped to S$48.6 million, over seven times the S$6.6 million for the year-ago period.

Group CEO Khor Hock Seng said investment performance was strong for the second quarter, in line with favourable market conditions.

"These gains were largely reflected in the group’s total comprehensive income instead of the group’s profit attributable to shareholders," he added.

Great Eastern shares closed down S$0.31 or 1.2 per cent at S$25.42 on Wednesday.