AIG exceeds profit estimates on strong underwriting gains

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FILE PHOTO: The AIG logo is seen at its building in New York's financial district

(Reuters) -Insurer American International Group Inc beat market estimates for quarterly profit on Monday as a jump in underwriting income cushioned the blow from lower investment returns.

Net premiums written in the company's general insurance business rose 5% on a constant currency basis in the April-June quarter to $6.9 billion, while underwriting income climbed 73%.

That helped AIG - one of the world's biggest commercial insurers - report adjusted after-tax income attributable to common shareholders of $1.19 per share. Analysts had expected a figure of $1.10 a share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

But the insurer's consolidated net investment income fell 29% to $2.6 billion, partly hurt by weakness in alternative investments such as private equity.

An unabating surge in inflation, rising interest rates and the toll of the Russia-Ukraine war have rattled financial markets this year, sapping the investment income that had powered insurers' profits last year.

AIG also blamed the market volatility for a delay in the initial public offering of its life and retirement unit.

The unit - set to be renamed Corebridge Financial Inc when it goes public - had filed for its offering in March and planned to complete its listing by the end of June, subject to market conditions.

"Completing the IPO is a significant priority for us and we remain ready to execute," Chief Executive Officer Peter Zaffino said without giving a new deadline for the offering.

AIG had first announced the move in 2020 and it sold a 9.9% stake in the unit to private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc for $2.2 billion last year.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)