AIA Group's 2018 value of new business rises 22 pct, beats forecasts
(Adds context on AIA and its results)
HONG KONG, March 15 (Reuters) - AIA Group Ltd, the
world's second-largest life insurer by market value, posted a 22
percent increase in its 2018 new business value, boosted by
expansion in China and surging demand for insurance in Hong
Kong, its home market.
AIA's value of new business, which measures expected profits
from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, rose to
$3.96 billion in 2018, up from $3.21 billion in 2017, the
company said in a statement on Friday.
Analysts had expected Hong Kong-based AIA to post a 19
percent jump in value of new business to $3.83 billion,
according to Refinitiv data.
China and Hong Kong together account for about half of new
business growth globally at AIA, originally founded in Shanghai
nearly 100 years ago and the first foreign insurer to be granted
a licence in China.
The insurer last month got regulatory approval to expand in
the northeastern Chinese cities of Tianjin and Shijiazhuang,
amid Beijing's broader agenda to open up its financial sector to
greater foreign participation.
The company's annualised new premium posted growth of 15
percent, to $6.51 billion in the year from 2017, while operating
profit after tax rose 13 percent, to $5.30 billion, the
The value of new business in Hong Kong, its key market, rose
24 percent to $1.71 billion.
The company also declared a special dividend of 9.50 Hong
Kong cents per share and upped its final dividend payout by 14
Hong Kong is home to a developed life insurance market, with
a life and health insurance premium to GDP ratio of 17.94
percent in 2017, the second-highest in Asia after Taiwan,
according to insurer Swiss Re.
Life insurers in the former British colony also benefit from
strong demand from customers in mainland China, with many
looking for better products outside their home market and
overseas investment opportunities.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong and Ambar Warrick
in Bengaluru; editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)
First Published: 2019-03-15 00:21:35
Updated 2019-03-15 00:42:43
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