HONG KONG/BANGALORE (Reuters) – Insurer AIA Group Ltd on Thursday reported a 28% rise in first-quarter new business value on constant exchange rates basis as sales momentum across Asia, particularly in mainland China, bounced back after pandemic-related restrictions were removed since January.
The Asia-focussed insurer’s new business value (VONB), which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, jumped to $1,046 million in the January-March period, from $853 million a year earlier.
The company expects further support to its business from increased economic growth in mainland China following the removal of pandemic restrictions.
China and Hong Kong together account for about half of new business growth globally at AIA.
AIA China – the largest contributor to the group’s VONB – logged a double-digit growth compared to last year, amid a recovery in demand following easing of curbs in mainland China.
New sales at AIA’s Hong Kong business also grew, supported by double-digit growth from domestic customer segment, including from mainland Chinese visitors.
These visitors, who are often seeking foreign currency-denominated products and overseas investment opportunities, were an important source of new business for AIA before the COVID pandemic.
Sales to the mainland travellers accounted for about one quarter of the new volume for the insurance industry in Hong Kong, according to an estimate by Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong analyst.
(Reporting by Selena Li in Hong Kong and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shailesh Kuber)