August 23, 2018 / 10:45 PM / a year ago

Insurer AIA posts 17 pct rise in 1st-half new business value

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Asia-focussed insurer AIA Group Ltd on Friday posted a 17 percent rise in new business value for the first half of the year, as it sold more high-margin insurance products in its main markets of Hong Kong and China.

AIA’s value of new business, which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, surged to $1.95 billion in the half-yearly period ended in June, rising from $1.61 billion a year earlier, the company said.

The insurance firm, whose business was first established in Shanghai nearly a century ago, now has a presence in 18 markets in Asia Pacific. Hong Kong, where AIA is based, accounts for the biggest share of its new business.

China is its second-largest market. AIA has reported strong growth in the world’s second-largest economy in recent quarters helped by a regulatory crackdown on short-term investments packaged as insurance that has hurt many of its local rivals.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in Hong Kong and Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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