India's LIC posts over five-fold jump in Q4 profit on fund transfer gains

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Life Insurance Corporation of India on Wednesday posted a more than five-fold jump in fourth-quarter profit, as it moved nearly 73 billion rupees ($883 million) to a shareholders' fund to shore up its bottom line.

The country's largest insurer posted a profit after tax of 134.28 billion rupees for the three months ended March 31, compared to 23.72 billion rupees a year earlier.

The state-owned firm said it transferred 72.99 billion rupees from its non-participating fund to the shareholders' fund for the quarter, bringing the total to 272.41 billion rupees for the fiscal year ended March 31.

Reuters reported last year that the insurer was planning to transfer 1.8 trillion rupees from policy holders' funds into the fund, which is earmarked to pay dividends or issue bonus shares.

The company's net premium income fell 8.3% to 1.32 trillion rupees in the quarter.

Its solvency ratio, the measure of an insurer's ability to meet its long-term debt obligations, improved to 1.87 from 1.85 a year earlier.

LIC also declared a final dividend of 3 rupees per share for the financial year ended March 31.

Shares of LIC closed up 0.6% ahead of the results. They have fallen 22% in the Jan-March quarter, and nearly 32% since listing in May 2022.

($1 = 82.6724 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)