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Aviva Asia posts 18% rise in value of new business in H1

AVIVA Asia has posted an 18 per cent increase in the growth of value of new business (VNB) to £76 million (S$164 million) for the first half of this year, on a constant currency exchange basis.

VNB is a measure of the expected profits from new premiums written in the first six months of the year.

The insurer has attributed the Asia results (excluding South Korea) to a "continued progress" in its growth strategy in Greater China and South-east Asia.

Singapore recorded a 29.7 per cent rise in VNB to £48 million in the same period, driven by higher sales of protection and retail health products.

In China, the VNB rose 15 per cent to £23 million.

Operating profit for the first half of 2015 was £67 million. It includes the contribution from Friends Provident International (FPI), which is now part of the Aviva group following the acquisition of Friends Life in April this year.

Excluding FPI, operating profit rose 11.5 per cent to £29 million.

Chris Wei, chairman of Aviva Asia and global chairman of Aviva Digital, said: "Our new joint venture in Indonesia has begun very well, making an important contribution to regional VNB growth. We are already diversifying beyond the bancassurance channel in Indonesia and are confident of achieving our long-term goal of becoming a top five life insurer locally."

Globally, the group posted a 25 per cent rise in VNB for the first half of 2015 to £534 million, on a constant currency exchange basis, lifted by the United Kingdom and Ireland markets.