Insurers see mortgage loans jump


Major South Korean insurers have seen their mortgages grow at a rapid pace over the past year due to rising demand, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Mortgages from leading life insurer Samsung Life Insurance jumped 17.2 percent year-on-year to 21.3 trillion won ($ 18.6 billion) at the end of March this year. In the first quarter of the year alone, its mortgage-backed loans jumped by more than 1 trillion won.

The industry’s No. 2 player Hanwha Life Insurance saw mortgage lending jump 17.3 percent year-on-year to 4.9 trillion won at the end of March.

The outstanding amount of loans guaranteed by other players, including Fubon Hyundai Life Insurance and Shinhan Life Insurance, also increased by more than 10% during the quoted period.

In addition, non-life insurance companies reported large increases in their mortgages over the one-year period.

Industry leader Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance announced a 13.8% year-over-year increase in mortgages to 10.8 trillion won, with DB Insurance mortgages increasing 10.7% to over 1 trillion won.

At the end of March, outstanding mortgages from life insurers stood at 32.5 trillion won, up 14.7% from the previous year, with those from non-life insurance companies gaining 6. 2% to 18.9 billion won.

Industry watchers said loans guaranteed by insurance companies had increased over the past year on strong demand from home buyers.

At the same time, five major South Korean banks saw their combined mortgages increase by some 9 trillion won between January and March, according to the sources. (Yonhap)

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