Low Rates Drive 42% Increase in Genworth’s MI Volume

Genworth Financial’s U.S. mortgage insurance business had adjusted operating income of $61 million in the fourth quarter, up over 50% from the same period in 2015, as its new insurance written grew by 42% year over year.

The increase in NIW to $11 billion from $7.8 billion one year prior was driven by a larger purchase origination market as well as higher refinance business prompted by the low interest rate environment, the company said in a press release.

Genworth Financial also saw $39 million of adjusted operating income from its holdings in its Canadian MI business and $14 million from its Australian MI operation.

The Richmond, Va.-based insurance holding company had a net loss of $122 million for the fourth quarter, an improvement over the net loss of $292 million for 2015’s fourth quarter.

The holding company reported fourth-quarter after-tax losses of $196 million related to assumption updates in its universal life insurance business.

Genworth Financial filed a proxy statement on Jan. 25 regarding its pending acquisition by China Oceanwide, with a special meeting of shareholders scheduled to vote on the deal March 7.