AAGIY - AIA Group Limited

Other OTC - Other OTC Delayed Price. Currency in USD
34.15
+1.27 (+3.86%)
At close: 3:59PM EDT
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Performance Outlook
  • Short Term
    2W - 6W
  • Mid Term
    6W - 9M
  • Long Term
    9M+
Previous Close32.88
Open32.85
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's Range32.85 - 35.38
52 Week Range30.50 - 45.57
Volume295,305
Avg. Volume410,673
Market Cap101.783B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.06
PE Ratio (TTM)15.49
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.60 (1.83%)
Ex-Dividend DateSep 06, 2019
1y Target EstN/A
Fair Value is the appropriate price for the shares of a company, based on its earnings and growth rate also interpreted as when P/E Ratio = Growth Rate. Estimated return represents the projected annual return you might expect after purchasing shares in the company and holding them over the default time horizon of 5 years, based on the EPS growth rate that we have projected.
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  • Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) Still Undervalued?
    Simply Wall St.

    Despite Its High P/E Ratio, Is AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) Still Undervalued?

    This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios...

  • With EPS Growth And More, AIA Group (HKG:1299) Is Interesting
    Simply Wall St.

    With EPS Growth And More, AIA Group (HKG:1299) Is Interesting

    It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks...

  • Credit Suisse Drops Off WeDoctor’s Planned Hong Kong IPO
    Bloomberg

    Credit Suisse Drops Off WeDoctor’s Planned Hong Kong IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG has dropped off the initial public offering of one of China’s top online health-care startups, dealing a fresh blow to its business taking companies in the region public after the Swiss bank was sued for its role on Luckin Coffee Inc.’s U.S. share sale.The Swiss bank is no longer working on the WeDoctor deal, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. Credit Suisse was picked alongside JPMorgan Chase & Co. and CMB International to lead the share sale, which was expected to happen before the end of the year, Bloomberg News reported last month. WeDoctor aims to raise between $500 million and $1 billion, a person familiar with the matter has said.A representative for Credit Suisse declined to comment, while a representative for WeDoctor said the company is still choosing partners and has not finalized the banks for the share sale.Credit Suisse’s exit comes at a difficult time for the bank, which was last week hit with a shareholder suit alleging Luckin Coffee and several underwriters made false and misleading statements that caused its stock price to be inflated. Credit Suisse was among the coffee chain’s IPO underwriters named in the complaint.Luckin’s shares have lost almost 80% since saying its chief operating officer and some of its employees may have fabricated billions of yuan in sales, upending what was supposed to be one of China’s best growth stories.Read More: Luckin Coffee Scandal Deals Blow to China Inc.’s ReputationWeDoctor, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., joins a growing contingent of tech giants hoping to revolutionize the traditional health-care industry after the coronavirus pandemic underscored the shortcomings. The company is on the prowl for expansion capital and this year laid the foundation for a public debut by hiring John Cai, formerly chief executive officer for AIA Group Ltd.’s operations in markets including China, Malaysia and Vietnam.The startup, whose business spans from insurance policies and medical supplies to online appointment-booking and clinics, was valued at around $5.5 billion in a 2018 funding round.The Hong Kong IPO market has slowed amid the worst stock market rout in more than 30 years. Companies have raised about $1.8 billion via first-time share sales in the city so far in 2020, a 34% drop from the same period a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Asian firms rush to meet $69 bln in Q2 debt refinancing

    Companies in the Asia Pacific need to raise a near record $69.3 billion to refinance their existing borrowings in the second quarter, Refinitiv figures show, as the region's capital markets remain turbulent due to the coronavirus pandemic. The level of U.S. dollar corporate debt due to mature in the region, including Japan and China, is the second highest on record and only slightly behind the $71.4 billion that was due during the same time last year. The data shows a Soft Bank Group bond worth $2.48 billion due to mature on April 18, and the conglomerate flagged it planned to carry out $41 billion worth of asset sales to buy back shares and pay down debt.

  • WeDoctor to Pick JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, CMB for IPO
    Bloomberg

    WeDoctor to Pick JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, CMB for IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- WeDoctor, one of China’s biggest online health-care startups, has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and CMB International to lead a Hong Kong initial public offering, people familiar with the deal said.The startup could become one of the largest technology companies to brave volatile public markets in 2020. WeDoctor envisions raising at least $500 million and as much as $1 billion, one of the people said, asking to remain anonymous discussing a private deal. The details could change given that deliberations are ongoing, the people said. More banks may be invited to join the deal in future, one person said.WeDoctor, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., joins a growing contingent of tech giants hoping to revolutionize a traditional health-care industry after the coronavirus pandemic underscored its shortcomings. The company is on the prowl for expansion capital and last month laid the foundation for a public debut by hiring finance overseer John Cai, formerly chief executive for AIA Group Ltd.’s operations in markets including China, Malaysia and Vietnam.The startup, whose business spans insurance policies and medical supplies to online appointment-booking and clinics, was last valued at around $5.5 billion. It’s said to be targeting a float in late 2020 or 2021.WeDoctor, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse representatives declined to comment. A CMB representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. IFR first reported on the selection.Read more: Coronavirus Shows Scale of Task to Fix China’s Flawed HealthcareThe Covid-19 pandemic has brought inadequacies in the country’s medical care system into stark relief, exposing an over-reliance on big hospitals in major cities and flaws in how the state responds to emergencies, even with a mechanism built after the SARS outbreak in 2003. The startup has said it launched an online platform dedicated to treating coronavirus cases on Jan. 23 and has helped facilitate 1.4 million consultations with doctors in the month since it began.Longer term, startups like WeDoctor could play a pivotal role in a nationwide effort to wrench its ailing healthcare sector into the modern age. Beijing envisions a 16 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion) healthcare industry by 2030 and, in a blueprint laid out in 2016 called “Healthy China 2030,” vowed to improve public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities to match those of developed countries.Read more: A $6 Billion China Startup Wants to Be the Amazon of Health CareFounded by artificial intelligence maven Jerry Liao Jieyuan in 2010, WeDoctor aims to compete with both fellow startups and major corporations such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the burgeoning field of online healthcare.It needs capital to expand. It has yet to decide whether to include its cloud business -- where sensitive patient information and government data reside -- in the envisioned Hong Kong public offering, people familiar with the matter have said.WeDoctor counts China Development Bank Capital, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. and AIA as backers. The company said in a statement it connects 360,000 doctors with some 210 million registered users.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Is It Worth Buying AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) For Its 1.7% Dividend Yield?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is It Worth Buying AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) For Its 1.7% Dividend Yield?

    Could AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn...

  • South China Morning Post

    AIA expects sales in China to take a significant hit from coronavirus pandemic after profit doubles in 2019

    Insurer AIA Group expects new business to take a significant hit in China as the coronavirus pandemic prevents sales agents from pitching directly to clients."While our online sales have been successful, it could not completely [replace] face-to-face meetings in China, which accounts for 40 per cent of our sales," said chief executive and president Ng Keng Hooi on a conference call after AIA reported profits had doubled in 2019.The Hong Kong-listed company said that new business last year grew by just 6 per cent to US$4.15 billion, compared to 22 per cent the previous year. It was weakest pace of annual growth in new business since 2010. The slower pace of growth was caused by a drop in sales to mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong because of the city's social unrest during the second half.Hong Kong's largest insurer by market capitalisation said that it had so far not seen any unusual claim patterns in mainland China resulting from the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease. The virus has affected more than 80,000 people in China and claimed over 3,000 lives in the country."[During] the first quarter of 2020, a number of our markets are facing headwinds from the lower interest-rate environment and the impact of Covid-19," it said.On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation officially declared it a pandemic, as the pathogen has now spread to 114 countries causing over 4,000 deaths. Prudential should move Asian headquarters to Hong Kong, urges shareholder Third PointBut Ng, who is retiring later this year, remained hopeful. He said he does not view the current pandemic as any worse than previous crises he has seen in his insurance career spanning four decades."I have seen many cycles, such as the global financial crisis in 2008 and the Asian financial crisis in 1997 when many currencies were devalued. [The coronavirus pandemic makes it] look like the world is coming to an end, but I'm very confident that the industry would overcome this down cycle and come out stronger."AIA's 2019 net profit doubled to US$6.65 billion from US$3.16 billion in 2018, and came above analysts' estimates of US$6.29 billion estimate polled by Bloomberg.Revenue rose 30 per cent to US$47.24 billion from US$36.3 billion. Basic earnings per share stood at US$0.55, below analysts' estimate of US$0.575.New business in Hong Kong fell 5 per cent year on year to US$1.62 billion " the only market to record a decline. AIA said the sharp drop in new business from Chinese visitors to the city in the second half offset strong growth in the first half.If Hong Kong's contribution is stripped out, new business rose 16 per cent for the other 17 markets in Asia that include Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and China. The mainland recorded the highest among its Asian markets at 27 per cent. In July last year, it opened new sales centres in Tianjin and Hebei.AIA's shares fell 4.4 per cent to HK$68.8, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 3.7 per cent lower at 24,309.07.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • AIA logs slowest new business growth since listing, sees virus hitting sales
    Reuters

    AIA logs slowest new business growth since listing, sees virus hitting sales

    "Since late January, we have seen a significant impact on the group's new business sales from reduced face-to-face meetings," AIA's outgoing Chief Executive Ng Keng Hooi told reporters, adding that the extent of any long-term impact remains uncertain. The value of new business, which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, rose 6% to $4.2 billion in 2019. China and Hong Kong account for about half of new business growth at AIA, which has benefited in the past from strong demand for insurance policies from mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong, who are seeking better products and overseas investment opportunities.

  • Tencent-Backed WeDoctor Is Hiring New CFO to Lead Hong Kong IPO
    Bloomberg

    Tencent-Backed WeDoctor Is Hiring New CFO to Lead Hong Kong IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- WeDoctor, one of China’s biggest online health-care startups, is hiring a new chief financial officer to spearhead a Hong Kong initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.John Cai, formerly chief executive for AIA Group Ltd.’s operations in key markets including China, Malaysia and Vietnam, will join as CFO in a few weeks, the people said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. Cai will oversee the company’s listing and potentially a pre-IPO financing round, the people said. WeDoctor has reached out to investment banks and is expected to pick underwriters over the next few months, they said.WeDoctor, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., joins a growing contingent of tech giants hoping to revolutionize a traditional health-care industry after the novel coronavirus underscored its shortcomings. The startup, whose business spans insurance policies and medical supplies to online appointment-booking and physical clinics, is aiming for a $10 billion valuation when it eventually goes public, one of the people said, almost double its last price tag of around $5.5 billion. The startup is currently targeting an IPO in late 2020 or 2021, another person said.A WeDoctor representative declined to comment in an emailed statement. An AIA representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Read more: Coronavirus Shows Scale of Task to Fix China’s Flawed HealthcareThe Covid-19 epidemic has brought inadequacies in the country’s medical care system into stark relief, exposing an over-reliance on big hospitals in major cities and flaws in how the state responds to emergencies, even with a mechanism built after the SARS outbreak in 2003. The startup said in a statement it launched an online platform dedicated to treating coronavirus cases on Jan. 23 and has helped facilitate 1.4 million consultations with doctors in the month since it began.Longer term, startups like WeDoctor could play a pivotal role in a nationwide effort to wrench its ailing healthcare sector into the modern age. Beijing envisions a 16 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion) healthcare industry by 2030 and, in a blueprint laid out in 2016 called “Healthy China 2030,” vowed to improve public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities to match those of developed countries.A $6 Billion China Startup Wants to Be the Amazon of Health CareFounded by artificial intelligence maven Jerry Liao Jieyuan in 2010, WeDoctor aims to compete with both fellow startups and major corporations such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the burgeoning field of online healthcare.It needs capital to expand. It has yet to decide whether to include its cloud business -- where sensitive patient information and government data reside -- in the envisioned Hong Kong public offering, the people said. And it’s still too early to judge whether it can achieve its $10 billion valuation target, one of the people said.Cai, who joined AIA in 2009, helped the insurer bolster its business in China before driving expansions in Vietnam and Malaysia. He will also join WeDoctor’s board as vice chairman, the people said. His new employer counts China Development Bank Capital, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. and AIA as backers. The company said in a statement it connects 360,000 doctors with some 210 million registered users.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Jun LuoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dan Loeb’s $48 Billion Target Has SomeTesty Investors
    Bloomberg

    Dan Loeb’s $48 Billion Target Has SomeTesty Investors

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Dan Loeb’s Third Point LLC says it has a history of working constructively with boards to promote the success of their companies. The activist’s latest goal seems to involve removing the board of Prudential Plc entirely, and dismantling the head office around it, as part of a breakup of the $48 billion insurer.That may not be as hard as it sounds.Once focused on Britain, Prudential has transformed into a large Asian insurer with a smaller U.S. business attached. Its shares suffer under a stark valuation discount to Hong Kong-listed peer AIA Group Ltd., and Loeb has set out a plausible explanation for why. The reason, he says, is that the Asian side needs capital to grow, but competes with shareholders for dividends. Likewise, the U.S. business would be better off conserving cash in support of its own capital strength. Meanwhile, most investors don’t want to invest in an Asian-U.S. hybrid insurer.The remedy sounds simple: Split Prudential into separate U.S. and Asian businesses with their own stock listings and dividend policies. The Asian shares would probably command a much higher valuation than whole the group does now,  providing an acquisition currency that would be a cheap source of growth capital. At the same time, scrapping the conglomerate structure would eliminate the need for a costly corporate center based in London.None of this is likely to be a huge surprise to Prudential’s directors. The board has already been simplifying the company, mainly by spinning off  the M&G Plc asset management business. That move has failed to address the valuation gap, so the next logical step would be to jettison the U.S. subsidiary and become a pure Asia play. Prudential’s chairman, Paul Manduca, is retiring next year anyway, and Chief Executive Officer Mike Wells has been in the role for five years. Manduca’s successor, banker and former government minister Shriti Vadera, has a chance to be radical.The real opponents to Loeb’s ideas are more likely to be found among Prudential’s long-term investors. Third Point is a new arrival taking on a longstanding problem. But Prudential has a large number of U.K. investors whose own narrow interests may be served by keeping it in its current form, paying high dividends via a London-listed share. Recall that consumer giant Unilever NV encountered huge resistance to an attempt to simplify its structure in 2018, while plumbing group Ferguson Plc is moving with extreme care about a possible re-domicile for the same reason.Loeb argues Prudential in two pieces would be worth twice what it is today. He may be right, but if a breakup involves a dividend cut along the way, it won’t be plain sailing.To contact the author of this story: Chris Hughes at chughes89@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • South China Morning Post

    Coronavirus puts Hong Kong's online financial channels to test as banking, insurance transactions surge

    Banks, insurers and an online lending platform in Hong Kong are seeing a surge in transactions as the city's biggest health scare in almost two decades puts the Asian financial hub's online financial channels on trial.Bank of China (Hong Kong) has seen "a significant increase" in customers accessing its mobile applications, while AIA Group is fielding more policy inquiries and claims submissions. Bank of East Asia said it recorded a double-digit increase in faster-payment transactions.The Covid-19 epidemic, the worst since the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, is stretching the pain threshold for local businesses barely weeks after a bruising social unrest in 2019. Hong Kong's economy faces a deeper recession after contracting last year for the first time since the global financial crisis, the government has warned."The epidemic is putting the system in Hong Kong to a test," said Kenny Ng Lai-yin, securities strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai. "People are shifting to digital channels instead of lining up at physical branches, and the financial institutions have so far handled the situation really well." Coronavirus: Hong Kong insurers offer special payouts to patients hospitalised or quarantinedHong Kong's lenders have closed about 20 to 30 per cent of their 1,300 citywide branches to contain the viral outbreak and sent workers to work from home to curb transmission risks, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on January 31. Its faster electronic-payment system installed in September 2018 is showing healthy gains.About 4.2 million users had signed up by the end of January, or more than half of the local population, HKMA said. Some 192,000 transactions worth HK$2.5 billion (US$322 million) took place last month, triple the volume in its first full month of inception. Hong Kong life insurers bet on return of mainland customers to reverse a three-year slump in policy salesAt Bank of China (Hong Kong), the increase in mobile transactions was noted as customers stepped up activity including fund transfers, bill payments, time deposits or foreign-currency exchanges, a spokeswoman said."We encourage our customers to utilise the online channels whenever possible to reduce traffic at branches and other public areas in an effort to limit the spread of the virus," a spokeswoman for Bank of East Asia said.Simon Loong, co-founder and CEO of WeLab and operator of WeLend platform, said loan volume has increased after the viral outbreak, adding to demand seen when customers shunned bank outlets on safety grounds during the social unrest.WeLend's loan volume grew 24 per cent in the fourth quarter last year from a year earlier, and 14 per cent post-Lunar New Year, when compared with year-ago periods, he added.While the reaction is to be expected, the surge in online transactions experienced by insurance companies in the city has come as a pleasant surprise for Peter Crewe, CEO for Hong Kong and Macau at AIA, the city's biggest insurance group. Hong Kong-China 'insurance connect' plan on hold as trade war, protests hit business environment"Between January 26 and February 9, over 60 per cent of AIA customers used AIA digital channels, such as AIA Connect and AIA Hong Kong website, to carry out policy change requests and transactions," he said. "That works out to about 20 per cent more than in the same period in 2019."The number of electronic claims submissions for individual life policies in that period was equivalent to 80 per cent of the volume AIA received in the first two months of 2019, he added."We found sales have tripled in the first two weeks of February versus a month earlier," said Fred Ngan Yiu-fai, co-founder and co-CEO of online insurer Bowtie Insurance. "When they discover the convenience of online shopping, they will continue to do so in future."Blue, another online insurer, is also benefiting from the rush for health coverage, said CEO Charles Hung, as applications for policies have doubled. Meanwhile, at Prudential, 90 per cent of claims were received via its e-platform last week, according to CEO Derek Yung Kai-ming.The city's stockbrokers, though, are not getting a lift from retail traders, said Gordon Tsui, chairman of Hong Kong Securities Association. "Most investors have moved on to online trading and placing orders over the phone for many years already," he noted.Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A.; Offer valid until 31 March 2020.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Is AIA Group Limited's (HKG:1299) CEO Paid At A Competitive Rate?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is AIA Group Limited's (HKG:1299) CEO Paid At A Competitive Rate?

    Keng Hooi Ng became the CEO of AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299) in 2017. This analysis aims first to contrast CEO...

  • Is Now An Opportune Moment To Examine AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299)?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is Now An Opportune Moment To Examine AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299)?

    Today we're going to take a look at the well-established AIA Group Limited (HKG:1299). The company's stock saw a...

  • Bloomberg

    China’s Insurance Giant Is Morphing Into a Tech Company

    (Bloomberg Markets) -- Just 31 years after it was founded in China’s southern city of Shenzhen, Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. has grown into the world’s second-largest insurer by market value after Berkshire Hathaway Inc.—more valuable than Allianz SE and AIA Group Ltd. combined. A financial supermarket that offers insurance, asset management, banking, and trust services, Ping An (which roughly translates to “safe and well”) added a focus on technology in the wake of the financial crisis. Now it has five groups of internet platforms, which it calls ecosystems, focused on finance, property, automotive, health care, and services for the “smart city.” More than 576 million users and 100 Chinese cities are connected to at least one of those ecosystems. One of the businesses, Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co., which runs the health-care portal Good Doctor, has already listed separately. Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co., the unit that manages the finance website Lu.com, postponed a planned public offering in 2016 when the government cracked down on peer-to-peer lending. Ping An has started licensing technology to peers at home and abroad. Below are excerpts from Bloomberg Markets’ September interviews about the company’s strategy, conducted separately with two of Ping An’s co-chief executive officers, Jessica Tan and Lee Yuan Siong. (Lee will be leaving at the end of January to become AIA Group CEO and president on June 1.)BLOOMBERG MARKETS: How will technology change Ping An in the next decade?JESSICA TAN: For technology, we have a three-step path. The first is to enable finance with technology, using technology to very aggressively innovate our business model from sales to risk control and operations, which we’ve been doing in the past 11 years. The second step is to use technology to enable the ecosystems, targeting either consumers or businesses and the government. Then it’s the ecosystems nurturing finance when they’ve reached a certain size, but that takes some time. That’s started, especially in terms of new-client acquisition, as it’s an area where we started out early. But the real benefits here have yet to show themselves.In 10 years we’ll just become a “technology-plus-finance” company. We’re already starting to show that. Technology’s contribution to revenue remains small to the company now, even though it’s already a big number—38.4 billion yuan [$5.4 billion] in revenue in the first half of this year from the 11 tech companies. But when we do better at the second and third steps, the contribution from technology will become bigger and bigger.BM: How does Ping An’s tech measure up with that of competitors around the world?JT: We now have 32,000 researchers, a combined 101,000 tech staff at the 11 tech units, more than 20,000 patents—96% are invention patents—and eight research institutes. In terms of input, our technology strength is unparalleled among financial institutions.Even compared to globally leading technology companies, we’re often even stronger in the area of finance. Some of our technologies are rarely seen or even impossible to find among financial institutions globally. Ping An OneConnect’s [fintech and cloud computing] products domestically are being used by 618 banks, 84 insurance companies, and nearly 3,000 other nonbanking financial institutions. In seven overseas markets, there are about 27 financial institutions using them, and most of them are relatively large financial institutions. So I believe we’re very competitive here.BM: What is the response to Ping An’s technology in the rest of Asia?JT: There’s a lot more demand than we expected. When OneConnect set up its overseas office [in Singapore] about one year ago, we thought a small office would do. Now it has more than 200 full-time employees [in Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand].At present, demand is particularly strong in three areas. One is SME [small and midsize enterprise] financing, which is a very hot topic at home and abroad. Our advantage here is that we have the technology to truly aggregate many data to create risk profiles of small and medium-sized businesses. And since we’re a financial company ourselves, financial companies believe our model can work. And even if you don’t trust me, I can do it myself with my own money.The second one is personal finance, another area with very, very strong demand. The third area is efficiency improvement. Asia, in many places, still depends on people for sales, but we have a lot of sales management tools.We’ve done this ourselves. I can improve the productivity of 1.4 million agents; we absolutely can improve it for your people. As long as financial institutions want to do it, we’re a very good partner.Many people are worried that we’re competing with the local financial institutions, because Ping An has a reputation domestically of being strong. I would say, “Look, I’m just an enabler.”“After moving online, you can accumulate massive data as every step leaves a data trail”BM: How many potential unicorns are there in the company’s incubator, and what do they do?JT: It’s hard to say. Whether it’s 11 or any other number is not important. What’s more important is we do our job around those five areas [finance, health, auto, property, and the smart city]. For finance, Lufax and OneConnect are the main ones. One serves clients directly and the other enables the entire market. I guess there won’t be new ones. OneConnect will have more modules, while Lufax will become more and more efficient, with its wealth management robot popularizing wealth management services.The reason we now have 11 tech units is a management decision. It’s actually very hard for a company as big as we are to keep innovating and stay nimble. We encourage the use of small teams to try things out while coordinating among themselves with clear positions for everyone.BM: How much more can the insurance business do to achieve cost savings, efficiency improvements, and other value creation from technology?LEE YUAN SIONG: Using new technology to empower our business is a never-ending journey. We started earlier than others, have done more, and gone further, but that doesn’t mean we’re already close to the end. What we need to do is to always keep ahead of peers—moving faster and further, with them chasing behind us.In terms of specific indicators, our life insurance business, including internal management, is already 93% online and paperless. We can hit 100% within a year, but being online and paperless is no end to the application of technology. The four main business lines of property insurance are about 90% online and paperless and could also achieve 100% within a year.After moving online, you can accumulate massive data as every step leaves a data trail. Then you can digitalize, with data guiding your decisions for business operations, management to services, sales, and risk control. The third step is using AI to make judgments and decisions. We’ve seen clearly the benefits, and we’re just taking action to realize them in every aspect of the business.We’re pushing the group as well as the business units to, within 18 to 36 months, achieve full digitalization—with data driving management decisions at every step. We’ve been employing artificial intelligence in various scenarios for intelligent management, such as in auto claims settlement, pricing of property insurance, as well as the interviews of agents.The value can be seen in many ways, from enhanced customer satisfaction to better risk management and higher efficiency. Our auto insurance combined ratio is 3 percentage points lower than the industry’s, which is a long-term and direct impact. The nonperforming ratio of our loans is also very low.BM: You’ve said Ping An is undervalued because investors are underestimating the value of your technology. Could there be risks that investors are seeing but you aren’t?LYS: We’ve been building an integrated financial-services model, which is different from the universal banking seen abroad and has achieved very good results. From the growth in the number of clients and profit per client, you can see it’s actually a very successful model. We’ve been telling the capital market to see our potential value in the growth of our clients and per-client profit. That’s starting to be accepted by the market.The ecosystems are an upgrade of our entire technology segment. That includes the listings of the units, the tech products, which create direct value. Besides that, when the ecosystems enable our integrated financial services, it creates additional value and should add a premium to the valuation of our integrated financial services.Almost one-third of our new clients come from the ecosystems, and that’s why our client number keeps rising, to 196 million. Profit per client keeps rising and the number of products per client keeps increasing, too.The ecosystems are not yet included in the valuation models in the capital market. The value of the integrated finance is partly reflected—so the value of the core business isn’t fully reflected, either. So every segment has room. As to how much room, I won’t give guidance. It’s up to the capital market to assess.BM: How will autonomous driving affect auto insurance?LYS: It will have a relatively big impact on the current business conditions of auto insurance, which we must admit. How it’s going to change depends on, firstly, the advance of technology, and secondly, how the legal environment adapts to autonomous driving: how to assign responsibility when accidents occur—who’s responsible and how big is the responsibility. It’s going to change auto insurance, but it’s also going to bring opportunities, such as liability insurance.BM: How does Ping An compete with online insurance offerings from tech companies?LYS: Indeed, a lot of interpersonal communications and transactions are now taking place online, and that’s why we are moving onto the internet. We have massive offline forces and networks, but we’ve already moved online.Our life insurance Jin Guan Jia [or “golden housekeeper”] app has 220 million users. The property insurance unit’s Ping An Auto Owner app has more than 70 million users, and even the small health insurance unit has 10 million app users, and Lufax has more than 40 million users. So while we have huge offline forces, we’re actually very much internet-based already, with communication and interaction between clients and our agents, service staff, and managers taking place online highly efficiently.We focus on finance and health, and have deeper understanding about client needs in those two domains than pure e-commerce, social, or news-oriented internet platforms do. With our huge internet presence, our offline service networks are actually an advantage.We’re changing every year. When younger generations born after 1990 and 2000 become the main consumers, financial institutions need to understand how to interact and communicate in ways they like. So we’re prepared for the competition. There was simply no other option.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dingmin Zhang in Beijing at dzhang14@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Christine Harper at charper@bloomberg.net, Jon AsmundssonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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