Hong Kong, mainland China help boost AIA’s new business figures

The two markets made up around half of all global business growth

Hong Kong, mainland China help boost AIA’s new business figures

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Hong Kong-based AIA Group has posted a 20% increase in new business for the third quarter, thanks to strong sales in its home market and mainland China.

The two markets make up around half of global new business growth each year at AIA, which was founded in Shanghai almost 100 years ago. It was the first foreign insurer to be licensed to operate in the mainland.

According to AIA, the value of new business, which is a key metric in estimating future growth, reached US$824 million for the third quarter of 2017, slightly higher than the US$813 million forecast by analysts, according to a report by Reuters.

AIA said that mainland China is its fastest-growing market in the third quarter, while Hong Kong continues to deliver double-digit new business growth.

The Asian insurance giant agreed last month to purchase the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s insurance unit for US$3.1 billion, which was the largest-ever acquisition of an Australian financial firm by an Asian buyer.

The acquisition will help AIA’s effort to diversify in its main markets of Hong Kong and mainland China, which are the main drivers of the insurer’s new business growth. As of May, AIA had free surplus cash of almost US$11 billion.

Major global insurers such as AIA and Sun Life and local players are fighting over the Asian region’s insurance pie, given its lower penetration levels and faster growth rates for insurance premiums than more mature markets in the West.

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