Board of Directors have
already approved the report but the delay is startling
By Syed M. Aslam
Oct 25 - 31, 1999
The public sector State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan is known
for not caring much about releasing its financial reports on time. It has yet to release
its annual report for the year ended December 31, 1998 although the report has been
approved by its Board of Directors recently.
However, this did not discourage the Chairman of SLIC, Dr Najeeb Samie,
to address a hurriedly called press briefing on October 19 to highlight the financial
performance of the Corporation during the first nine months of the current year ended
Comparing the nine-month performance with the comparative period last
year Najeeb declared that SLICs life fund increased by over 29 per cent to Rs 4.6
billion during the first three quarters of this year as compared to the same period last
year. He also said that the renewal premium level which has been historically hard
to maintain also scaled up to Rs 2 billion during the same period up from Rs 1.9
billion during the comparative period last year.
He also talked about the stability and strength of the Corporation
saying that it was confirmed by the increase in the size of the Life Fund which stood at
Rs 55.5 billion as on December 31, 1998. It is estimated to have increased to Rs 60
billion on September 30 this year.
During the first nine months of this year the total premium stood at Rs
4.45 billion Rs 621 million from Individual Life, Rs 2 billion from the Renewal
Premium and Rs 827 million from Group Insurance.
The SLIC chairman stressed that the strength of the Corporation was
confirmed by its strong growth in the size of the life fund which was estimated at Rs 60
billion as on September 30 this year when compared with Rs 55.5 billion on December 31,
last year. However, at a glance SLICs annual results during last many years show
deterioration from many other aspects.
For instance, the renewal premium has decreased drastically from Rs 4.7
billion in 1996 to Rs 1.9 billion last year and only increased by 6 per cent to Rs 2
billion during the first nine months of the current year.
Similarly, the group premium which stood at Rs 1.4 billion in 1997
declined by 40 per cent from Rs 1.4 billion in 1997 to Rs 827 million during the first
nine months of this year. The total premium has also declined by less than half from Rs
7.3 billion in 1997 to Rs 3.45 billion during the first nine months.
While the chairman made no mention of the overall expense ratio of the
SLIC the same increased from 36.7 per cent in 1994 to 43.2 per cent in 1997 according to
the last annual report published by the SLIC in 1997.
The same has been the case of the number of ordinary policies in force
which declined from 2.09 million in 1996 to 2.03 million as on December 31, last year.
Besides approving the accounts for the year ended December 31, 1998,
the SLIC Board of Directors also approved the Actuarial Valuation for the two -year period
ended on the same date. They also revealed that the SLIC has an actuarial surplus of Rs 6
billion enabling it to enhance its bonus rates for its Ordinary Whole Life Policy Holders
from Rs 84 in 1996 to Rs 91 in 1998. And from Rs 76 to Rs 83 per thousand sum assured per
annum on endowment policies for 20 years and over. The rates of terminal bonus, and bonus
for endowments have also gone up though they were quantified by the chairman.
Talking to PAGE, highly placed sources in the insurance industry said
that the change of the government prompted the SLIC to approve its 1998 accounts as well
as the two-year actuarial valuation, a practice which has never been witnessed by the SLIC
in the past. This is evident from the release of 1996 Annual Report in last quarter of
1997, and 1997 Annual Report in December 1998.
They also said that SLIC which enjoyed a complete monopoly of the life
insurance business in Pakistan since early 1970s when the life insurance business was
nationalised in the country till it was deregulated to let the private companies enter the
business in early 1990s was mismanaged at all levels. For instance, one of the source said
that SLIC which enjoyed the major portion of the market even after a number of private
life insurers entered the market, spent heavily on travel expenses.
Sources also alleged that it was an open secret that SLIC did not use
to close its accounts and it was usual for it to keep accepting businesses till, as late
as April, May and June despite the fact that its accounting year officially closed on
December 31. This was done to provide an exaggerated volume of business for the year, they
State Lifes Financial Performance (In
1997 1998 Nine months Ended Sep. 30, 99
Total Premium 7.3 B 3.45 B
Investment Portfolio 48.3 B 54 B 58.6 B
Investment Income 5.9 6 B 5.4 B
No. of Policies in force (Ordinary Life) 2.09 m 2.03 m
Life Fund 51 B 55.5 B 60 B