AIA Group new business swells to US$3.9b

Business | 15 Mar 2019 1:36 pm

AIA Group (1299), the world’s second-largest life insurer by market value, posted a 22 percent increase in its 2018 new business value to US$3.96 billion, boosted by expansion in China and surging demand for insurance in Hong Kong, its home market, Reuters reports.

The company also declared a special dividend of 9.5 HK cents per share due to the change of the Company’s financial year-end date from November 30, 2018 to December 31, 2018, and upped its final dividend payout by 14 percent.

Net profit for the thirteen months ended December 31, 2018, recorded US$3.23 billion, compared with US$6.19 billion for the twelve months ended November 30, 2017. Basic earning per shares was 26.31 US cents for the thirteen months ended December 31, 2018.

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 license 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 annualized new premium posted growth of 15 percent, to US$6.51 billion in the year from 2017, while operating profit after tax rose 13 percent, to US$5.30 billion, the statement showed.

The value of new business in Hong Kong, its key market, gained by 24 percent to US$1.71 billion.

Shares of AIA slid 0.13 percent to HK$78.65.

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