May 2 (Reuters) - Genworth MI Canada Inc, Canada's largest private residential mortgage insurer, reported a 20.5 percent rise in quarterly profit, as it earned higher premiums and had lower losses on claims.
The loss on claims fell to C$26 million ($18.97 million) in the first quarter, down from C$37 million, a year earlier.
"While our loss ratio was low in the quarter, it comes on the back of strong macroeconomic tailwinds and particularly robust housing markets. We recognize that the current pace of loss development is likely to normalize as housing markets gradually respond to government actions and market forces," the company said in a statement.
A cooling in Canada's housing market was partially triggered by a funding crisis at mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc , as depositors pulled more money out of its high-interest savings accounts.
Genworth's net income rose to C$106 million, or C$1.15 per share, in the quarter compared with C$88 million, or 96 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Genworth MI Canada's investment portfolio had a market value of C$6.3 billion at the end of the quarter. ($1 = 1.3704 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)