HONG KONG: AIA Group Ltd on Thursday (Aug 25) posted a 13 per cent drop in new business value for the first half as COVID-19 lockdowns in the insurer’s main markets of China and Hong Kong hit sales of its products.
The insurer’s new business value (NBV), which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, fell to US$1.54 billion, from US$1.81 billion a year ago.
AIA’s mainland China business, its largest market, posted a 24 per cent decline in value of new business (VONB) in the period.
But the company said VONB had returned to growth in June as sales momentum improved after the initial COVID-19 wave subsided.
VONB at AIA’s Hong Kong business rose 3 per cent, thanks to a drop in coronavirus infections there and strong growth in sales to mainland Chinese visitors who go across the border and buy insurance in Hong Kong.
These visitors, who are often seeking better products and overseas investment opportunities, were an important source of new business for AIA before the pandemic.
China and Hong Kong together account for about 58 per cent of new business growth globally at AIA, which was founded in Shanghai 100 years ago.
The insurer reported its first annual VONB fall in 2020 since its 2010 listing in Hong Kong.