AIA Group, the largest insurer in Hong Kong and second-largest in Asia in terms of market value, reported 23 per cent year-on-year growth in the value of new business (VONB) for the three months ended August 31, reaching a record high of US$468 million. “Substantial growth in disposable incomes combined with low levels of both social welfare and private insurance cover drive enormous potential for the sale of savings and protection products across our markets,” said chief executive and president Mark Tucker. Mainland China business was one of AIA’s strongest performers, according to the insurer. The company also achieved double-digit VONB growth in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in the third quarter. In South Korea, AIA reported positive VONB growth for the quarter but margins fell following the industry-wide suspension of outbound telesales earlier in the year. Other markets, including Indonesia, continued to be affected by unfavourable exchange rate movements and from liquidity tightening in the banking sector, the company said. VONB margin increased by 4 percentage points to 48.7 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2013. AIA said margin expansion was driven by product mix improvements, continuing the trend from the first half.