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Modest Recovery in 2003
Financial Market Activity
Rise in Asian Dollar Market Lending . Box 12 – A Robust Financial System
Healthy Growth in Corporate Debt Market . Active Trading in Equities and Futures Market
Vibrant Treasury Market . Box 13 – The Singapore IPO Market
Mixed Performance for Insurance . Box 14 – Bank Loans to HDB Flat Buyers
Mixed Performance for Insurance
The insurance industry’s performance was mixed in 2003, with an improvement in general insurance but a drop in new life insurance business. While general insurance premiums increased, life insurance premiums continued to decline (See Chart 16).
General insurance premiums rose to S$5 billion, a 5% increase, with domestic business written making up S$2.3 billion of the total. Premiums from domestic business written grew 5.1%. Premiums from the motor and health categories also saw continued growth, growing 9.6% and 12% respectively. The increase in motor premiums to S$698.4 million can be partly attributed to higher premium rates. Health insurance premiums amounted to S$240 million.

In contrast, the life insurance sector was affected by both the economic slowdown and SARS in March 2003. Premiums from single premium life insurance declined 22.4% to S$4.6 billion due in part to a non-recurring surge in such business in 2001 and 2002. The sector experienced a strong recovery in investment-linked business in the second half of 2003.
Enhancing Risk-focused Supervisory Approach
Box 1 – Fostering a Sound and Progressive Financial Services Sector
Enhancing MAS’ Supervisory Capabilities
Box 2 – Stress Testing of Life Insurers
Box 3 – Streamlining Inspection Function
Thematic Inspections to Improve Surveillance