AIA’s increased digital focus should boost client acquisition efforts over time, according to an OCBC report.
This will have particular impact as the insurer moves away from traditional face-to-face meetings which have adversely hit new business sales since the pandemic began.
After its previous plans of adopting an “agile approach” in its digital efforts and launching remote sales capabilities, AIA has partnered with ZA Tech for a digital platform that will allow the insurer to touch base with new and existing digital partners in key markets outside of Mainland China.
In addition, the insurer has benefited from the rise of Asia’s middle class with growing protection and wealth accumulation needs, particularly in China. “Prudent management, strong execution and well-trained agents drive sustainable new business growth and margin expansion from higher margin products,” the report said.
Although low rates may drag down group performance in the near term, analysts see a sequentially upward outlook bolstered by further normalisation of its business as mass vaccination materialises and restrictions are eased, and its China expansion plan progresses.
AIA could also potentially gain from the possible launch of the cross-boundary wealth management connect pilot scheme in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau. Other catalysts include a stronger Southeast Asia growth with recovery in Singapore and Thailand, and faster than anticipated pick-up in agent productivity in new provincial centres.
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