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Global markets a downer on ICBL investments

The Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) says it ended the 2022 financial year in a loss position, however, shareholders were assured of a $0.05 per share dividend payout.

This was outlined in the company’s summary consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022, which were published recently.

In the Chairman’s Review by Joe Poulin which accompanied the statements, he said the company reported a net loss of $9.3 million when compared to the net income of $21.2 million it achieved for the previous period in 2021.

Attributing the results mainly to “the unrealised fair value declines of $10.7 million in our equity portfolio”, Poulin said this came about as a result of developments in the global economy and their impact on the equity markets during the 12-month period.

On the other hand, the Bridgetown-based former state-owned entity registered a 2.8 per cent increase in gross premiums to reach $105 million during the review period.

According to the Chairman, the increased premium income was driven by new business growth across various lines of activity, particularly in motor and property business.

Poulin further explained: “Net earned premiums were largely stable compared to the prior year, as a four per cent increase in reinsurance costs off­set premium growth.”

ICBL reported that its insurance benefit and claim costs were reduced by nine per cent to $31.9 million when compared to the previous year. This occurred as a result of smaller benefit costs for the company’s life and health insurance portfolios.

Overall, ICBL’s total assets stood at $363 million at the end of 2022 with cash and cash equivalents amounting to $48.6 million, while investments reached $142.7 million, with shareholder equity of $122.4 million.

Poulin assured investors and other stakeholders that “ICBL remains in a strong liquidity position to settle all policyholder claims as they become due”.

The chairman revealed also that based on the “strength of the statement of the financial position” of the company, ICBL’s board of directors declared a final dividend of five cents per share.

In addition, he announced the board had approved a share buy-back programme to repurchase up to one million of its common shares to “provide shareholders with further liquidity options”. (IMC1)

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