By P.R. Venkat

AIA Group posted record new business value in the first quarter, prompting the insurer to increase its payout to shareholders and announce additional share buybacks.

The value of new business was $1.33 billion and its new-business margin rose 1.9 percentage points to 54.2%, the company said Monday.

The 31% increase in the value of its new business was supported by double-digit growth in business in most of its markets, including mainland China, Hong Kong and Asean,

"We are also announcing a new and more definitive capital management policy which will result in higher annual distributions to shareholders through a combination of dividends and share buy-backs," AIA's Group Chief Executive Lee Yuan Siong said.

The insurer said it was increasing its share buyback program to $12.0 billion from $10.0 billion due to its strong financial position.

AIA is targeting a payout ratio of 75% of its annual net free surplus generation each year, through dividends and buybacks starting this year.

Write to P.R. Venkat at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-28-24 2002ET