AIA Group's 2018 value of new business rises 22 pct, beats forecasts

HONG KONG, March 15 (Reuters) - Insurer AIA Group Ltd posted a 22 percent rise in new business value in 2018, beating estimates, driven by higher demand from its clients in Hong Kong as well as increased purchases from mainland Chinese visitors to the Asian financial hub.

AIA’s value of new business, which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, rose to $3.96 billion in 2018, up from $3.21 billion in 2017, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Analysts had expected AIA to post a 19 percent jump in value of new business to $3.83 billion, as per Refinitiv data.

China and Hong Kong together account for about half of new business growth globally at AIA. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)