Manulife Asia reports significant growth in 2023

Company bolsters regional presence and service innovations

Manulife Asia reports significant growth in 2023

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

Manulife Asia has reported notable increases in its annualised premium equivalent (APE) sales, core earnings, and new business contractual service margin (CSM) for both the fourth quarter (Q4) and the entirety of 2023.

This performance underscores the company's growing presence in Asia and its significant contribution to Manulife's global operations.

Key figures

Manulife Asia's Q4 and annual core earnings in Asia last year saw a rise of 14% and 11%, reaching US$414 million and US$1.5 billion, respectively, when compared to the figures from 2022.

The company also experienced an 11% and 15% surge in APE sales during Q4 and the full year, amounting to US$731 million and US$3.3 billion, respectively, versus the prior year. This increase is attributed to strong sales performances in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Singapore, although there were declines in Vietnam and Japan.

The overall yearly growth was primarily fuelled by heightened demand across multiple Asian markets following the removal of COVID-19 restrictions early in the year. Notably, Hong Kong saw a 58% jump in full-year APE sales, driven by a resurgence of demand from Mainland Chinese Visitor (MCV) customers after the reopening of the border with Mainland China. Similarly, Mainland China witnessed a 62% increase in full-year APE sales, thanks to growth in bancassurance and agency channels.

New business value and new business CSM

For 2023, new business value (NBV) and new business CSM also saw an upward trend, with increases of 5% and 27% in Q4 and 3% and 16% for the full year, totalling US$306 million and US$1.2 billion, and US$303 million and US$1.1 billion, respectively.

The annual growth in NBV was largely propelled by performances in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, and the international high-net-worth segment, with some offsets in Vietnam and other emerging markets. The CSM growth reflected similar trends.

Meeting customer needs

“We are focused on providing solutions to the protection, health, and wealth management needs of our customers, which has enabled strong increases in both sales and core earnings in Asia as a whole, in the fourth quarter as well as the full year of 2023, demonstrating our ability to deliver high-quality, sustained growth,” said Phil Witherington, president and CEO of Manulife Asia.

“As we continue to enhance the experience for our customers, the launch of a unified onboarding platform for our global high net worth business in Bermuda, Hong Kong, and Singapore in 2023 makes new business application, underwriting, and compliance processes simpler and faster for both our brokers and end customers. Meanwhile, in mainland China, we completed Phase 1 of the policy administration system modernisation with the launch of new business and underwriting modules on the new cloud-based solution, together with the seamless migration of more than three million customers.”

Manulife has been named one of the most valuable brands for 2024.

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