Formerly part of the American International Group (AIG), which required a US government bailout at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008, Hong Kong-based American International Assurance (AIA) separated from the group in 2009. A plan for UK-based Prudential to buy AIA for US$35.5 billion fell through, and AIA held an initial public offering in Hong Kong in 2010, raising US$20.5 billion.
At least 26 companies disclosed buy-backs totalling HK$667 million (US$85.2 million) on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Securities Times. AIA has been the most active this year, acquiring shares worth HK$12.5 billion.
Lawmakers showed their support for the Hong Kong government’s proposed compensation scheme aimed at protecting policyholders who would get up to HK$4 million (US$636,942) per policy in case an insurer collapses.
UK-based Prudential reports 15 per cent growth in new sales across Asia in the first two months of this year, while Ping An Insurance tallies 5 per cent sales growth in the same period.
The value of life insurance policies sold to mainland customers tripled last year from 2021, according to figures released on Friday, as the easing of travel restrictions late in the year allowed cross-border traffic to resume.
The full reopening of China’s southern border with Hong Kong on January 8 was a relief for AIA, which counted on the two markets for 50 per cent of new sales in 2022.
Many of the 120,000 insurance agents who suffered during the pandemic are gearing up to serve returning mainland visitors – big spenders on local insurance products. And to tap this business, AIA, Manulife and Prudential plan to hire a total of 10,000 new agents this year.
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Life insurance sales in Hong Kong jumped 25 per cent last year, the highest since 2016, after insurers bolstered staff numbers by recruiting flight attendants laid off amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hong Kong-listed insurer conducted a number of deals last year, which helped boost net profit by 28 per cent to US$7.48 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of US$6.47 billion in a Bloomberg poll.
AIA joins a growing number of firms and institutions in curtailing holdings. According to the Insure Our Future campaign, 65 insurers with combined assets of US$12 trillion have so far divested from coal.
The plan underscores the realignment in China’s labour force amid the slowest economic growth pace in decades, after the government unexpectedly unleashed a wide-ranging slew of reforms last month that turned edtech, online education platforms and tuition centres into non-profit organisations.
AIA seeks further expansion in China as it looks to build network big enough to serve 300 million potential “middle class” customers.
Hong Kong stocks tumbled as China looks to tighten its stranglehold on tech companies with anti-competition rules. The US securities watchdog cautioned investors about buying Chinese companies traded in the US.
Hong Kong’s biggest publicly traded life insurer will buy a 24.99 per cent stake in China Post Life Insurance as it expands its presence in the mainland.
Higher propensity to save for rainy days is bad omen for businesses in the region amid uncertainty about border reopening and relatively slow progress in vaccination efforts.
Insurance companies are hiring record numbers of agents in a bid to expand domestic sales after the pandemic cut off their lifeblood – mainland Chinese clients crossing the border to buy policies.
Exempted executives are still required to observe self-isolation rules if they arrive from ‘high-risk’ areas. They must be fully vaccinated and also produce negative Covid-19 test results before arriving in Hong Kong.
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The Bank of East Asia is looking to extract commission income from cross-selling AIA life policies to its banking clients after divesting its insurance assets. Cross-border wealth management and insurance schemes could be the next big thing, co-CEO Adrian Li says.
AIA and Bank of East Asia struck a 15-year partnership to distribute life, savings products to lender’s retail customers in the Greater Bay Area as part of agreement to sell BEA Life.
DrGo is the first of a growing number of telemedicine services in Hong Kong that are sprouting up to bring accessibility and convenience to customers via a combination of technology and health care, delivered with social distancing in mind as the coronavirus spreads.
Hong Kong insurance sales are poised for their worst slump on record as Covid-19 travel restrictions prevent mainlanders visiting to buy policies.
AIA Group is hopeful of new business rebounding as Covid-19 containment measures ease, especially in China where it is increasing its bet.
The cross-border insurance link, a key pillar of the Greater Bay Area’s financial integration, will be rolled out by year-end with the establishment of two services centres giving Hong Kong insurers greater access to mainland clients, say sources familiar.
AIA, Prudential and HSBC Life believe Beijing’s ambitious economic integration plan will allow Hong Kong insurers to establish services centres in mainland China to support future sales growth.
Hong Kong-headquartered insurer AIA has been given the go-ahead by Beijing to convert its Shanghai branch into a wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in the mainland’s financial capital, which will allow it to operate and expand within the country much like a local company.
Up to 40 per cent of new business sales in China could be at risk of being affected as AIA still relies heavily on agents to sell policies, says outgoing CEO Ng Keng Hooi.
The British insurer needs to break up into two publicly listed companies focused on the US and Asia to boost shareholder value, said activist investor Third Point.
Banks, insurers and a lending platform in Hong Kong are seeing a surge in online transactions as the biggest health scare since 2003 puts the city’s readiness on trial.