Genworth to Consider Separating Its Mortgage Insurance Unit

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Genworth Financial is contemplating separating its mortgage insurance business from its other lines of insurance.

When and if Genworth completes the previously announced planned separation and isolation of the long-term care insurance business, the next step could be separating its MI operations from the life insurance unit, said President and CEO Thomas McInerney during Wednesday's second-quarter conference call.

"The board and management are actively considering a number of strategic options for Genworth. We have two priorities — enhance long-term shareholder value and reduce their debt level. We remain open to both financing options and other strategic alternatives as we evaluate addressing our debt maturities," McInerney said.

But Genworth has not made a decision regarding any specific strategy it will adopt, nor is it making any assurance that any of its options (including separating the long-term care business) could be implemented on a long-term basis.

Meanwhile, the company said it expects the U.S. mortgage insurance business to start paying dividends up to the holding company at some point next year.

Genworth Financial received $12 million in dividends during the second quarter from its publicly traded Canadian MI subsidiary. The Australian MI company, which is also publicly traded, made a $76 million payment to Genworth Financial after what was described as a "capital management initiative."

Genworth Financial had net income of $172 million for the second quarter, reversing a loss of $193 million for the same period in 2015.

Its net operating income of $123 million in the most recent period included $61 million from the U.S. MI unit, $38 million from its ownership stake in the Canadian MI business and $15 million from its ownership stake in the Australian MI company.

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