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[HONG KONG] AIA Group Ltd, Asia's third-largest life insurer by market capitalisation, reported a 22 per cent rise in annual profit, as it saw strong sales in its core markets of Hong Kong and China.
Net profit rose to a record US$3.45 billion, above analysts' expectations of US$3.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Under Chief Executive Mark Tucker, the former Asian business of US insurer AIG has since its 2010 listing grown to possess the region's largest life insurance network, signed a 15-year distribution deal with Citigroup, and become the biggest foreign insurance player in mainland China.
AIA said the company's value of new business, which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key yardstick for growth, rose 24 per cent to US$1.85 billion in the year ended Nov 30, up from last year's record US$1.49 billion.