For the first six months of this year, Korean Re reported a 4.3 percent increase in gross written premiums to KRW 3,712.0 billion compared to the same period of last year. Our overseas business performed strongly in terms of top-line growth, recording a year-on-year growth rate of 15.1 percent, thanks to increases in writings of property risks from Europe and the Americas and agricultural business from the United States and Brazil. There was also a rise in life business from China and Chile.
Our premium income from domestic business grew by 1.5 percent, backed by life and long-term property business. We saw a top-line growth of 6 percent in premium income from domestic personal lines of business. Our domestic commercial business, on the other hand, declined by 4.9 percent as market conditions remained largely sluggish. New business in commercial lines continued to fall due to slowdown in the construction and shipbuilding sectors.
Korean Re's net underwriting income for the first half of 2018 remained positive at KRW 51.8 billion, but was down sharply from a year earlier due to an increase in large losses. An uptick in loss ratio drove up the combined ratio to 97.5 percent for the six-month period. Despite this aggravation in underwriting results, our net income amounted to KRW 109.3 billion, aided by investment returns. For the January through June period of this year, we posted a KRW 6.4 billion increase in net investment income to KRW 82.9 billion, versus KRW 76.5 billion for the same period of last year, thanks to a boost from alternative investments and foreign bonds. It is noteworthy that our first-half net income recorded more than KRW 100 billion for four years in a row.
<Korean Re's Business Results for the First Half of 2018 >
*The above figures are based on the company’s separate financial statements.