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AIA Group, the Hong Kong-listed insurer rose as much as 5.4 per cent on Thursday after it reported record 55 per cent growth in the value of new business in the first quarter.

The insurer reported the value of new business in the three months to the end of February grew to $884m up from $578m in the same period last year with AIA adding China was its fastest growing business during the period. Value of new business measures projected after-tax future profits from new business sold in the period.

Annualised new premiums increased 62 per cent to $1.779bn.

Mark Tucker, AIA Group chief executive and president said:

Today’s headline figures reflect our robust operating performance and the consistent execution of our growth strategy over time. I have said many times that the powerful and structural economic, social and demographic changes taking place across Asia present an unparalleled opportunity for AIA.

AIA said it expects Asian economic growth to continue to be strong and that this, coupled with increasing wealth in the region, is leading to higher penetration rates for life insurance products.

Mr Tucker is to become chairman of HSBC in September.

AIA is up 4.5 per cent at HK$53.60 a share ahead of the lunch break, against a 0.1 per cent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng index.

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