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GERMAN insurer Allianz's new business value (NBV) in the Asia-Pacific went down in the first six months of the year but the company said its new business margin has risen, amid challenging market conditions.
Excluding foreign-exchange effects, NBV fell 9 per cent year on year to 100 million euros (S$151 million), primarily due to weaker unit-linked sales in the banking channels, the insurer said.
Despite a lower topline and difficult market conditions, new business margin rose 1.3 percentage points to 5.5 per cent, supported by the active portfolio management in the life business.
Total revenues plunged 34 per cent year on year to 2.1 billion euros, largely attributable to high market volatility which impacted all business segments.
Underlying operating profit for Apac, excluding the one-off impact from the expected sale of Allianz's South Korean business, was flat at 134 million euros, in line with the previous year.
Operating profit in the life and health portfolio edged up 3 per cent to 101 million euros, driven by outperformance in Indonesia and Malaysia.
After adjusting for foreign-exchange effects, half-year earnings in property & casualty dropped 22 per cent to 33 million euros, dragged down by weaker underwriting results in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
For the first half, the underlying combined ratio for the Asia-Pacific stood at 94.7 per cent. On an annualised basis, the region's return on equity rose 1.9 per cent to 14.8 per cent.
George Sartorel, regional chief executive, Asia Pacific, said: "We have delivered stable progress this first half, which is a direct result of our determined execution, as well as the ongoing transformation to build a more resilient business model. This fundamental shift towards stronger customer relationships, product innovation and digitalisation sets the course for our accelerated growth and success."
He expressed optimism in the Asia-Pacific, adding that the insurer still sees "compelling opportunities in this region".
Allianz said it continues to extend its customer reach across its multiple distribution channels in agency, strategic partnerships, bancassurance and digital. The total number of agents grew by 9 per cent in the second quarter and collectively delivered 60 per cent of NBV in the region.
In early June, Allianz completed its transaction in the Philippines for a 51 per cent stake in the Philippines National Bank (PNB). It also began the 15-year exclusive bancassurance partnership with its subsidiary, PNB Life Insurance Inc.