Manulife Hong Kong stars as Canada-based parent’s profits grow

Manulife’s Hong Kong business was the star performer in the Canadian insurance giant’s third quarter results, published today, posting a 35% rise in its annualised premium equivalent (APE) sales in the nine months to the end of September. 

The parent company, Manulife Financial Corp, also posted solid results in the quarter, and cited its Asian business as a key reason for its growth.

In the three months to the end of September, Manulife Hong Kong saw APE sales of HK$935m, up 20% from the same quarter in 2015, while year-to-date APE sales hit HK$2.7bn, a 35% rise oover the same period a year before.

Quarterly premiums and deposits of HK$11.3bn, are up 12% from the third quarter of 2015 and year-to-date premiums and deposits of HK$31.3bn, up 8% compared with the first nine months of 2015.

Wealth and asset management across the same periods saw gross flows of HK$5.3bn, up 4% and year-to-date wealth and asset management gross flows of HK$14.4bn, down 3%, compared with the first nine months of 2015.

Quarterly new business value of HK$487m was down 12% from the same quarter of 2015, but year-to-date NBV of HK$1,396m, was up 2% compared with the first nine months of 2015.

‘Expanded agency force’

Guy Mills, chief executive of Manulife (International), said that the strong growth in APE sales in Manulife’s Hong Kong business in the most recent quarter came through an expanded regional agency force, which now consists of some 6,657 agents, at the same time as higher sales from brokers and bank partners were being realised.

“In addition to launching innovative products, we have also expanded our product offerings through an exclusive general insurance distribution partnership, as reported, with QBE Hongkong & Shanghai Insurance Limited since August this year,” Mills added.

Parent company

From its Toronto base, Manulife Financial also reported that net income attributed to shareholders of US$1.117bn for the third quarter.

Donald Guloien, president and chief executive, said: “We delivered strong core earnings this quarter thanks to improved results across our operations which, combined with favourable markets and excellent returns from our investment portfolio, led to an increase in net income to above US$1bn.”

“While we are pleased with these results, we continue to operate in a difficult macroeconomic environment and we remain focused on optimizing the performance of all of our businesses and on growing aggressively those which deliver the highest returns.

‘Strong growth in Asia’

“This quarter, we once again delivered strong growth in Asia and generated positive net flows in our wealth and asset management businesses around the world,” added Guloien.

The firm added that at the beginning of this month it began a 15-year Mandatory Provident Fund partnership with Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, and closed on a related acquisition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Deputy Editor, International Investment and Head of Video at Open Door Media Publishing. A fully qualified journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as an IFA.

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