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AIA announces ‘very strong’ financial results for 2021 with US$ 10 billion share buyback programme

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The Board of AIA Group Limited has announced the Group’s financial results for the year ended 31 December 2021.

Lee Yuan Siong, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, issuing a press statement said: “AIA has delivered very strong results in 2021 with VONB up by 18 per cent and growth in all of ourkey financial metrics including a new high for EV Equity of US$75.0 billion. On a like-for-like basis,VONB for the Group outside Hong Kong exceeded pre-pandemic levels and all of our reportable segments grew VONB year-on-year.”

“Our financial position continues to be very strong with pro forma free surplus of US$24.8 billion. The Board has recommended a final dividend of 108.00 Hong Kong cents per share which increases the total dividend by 8 per cent. This follows AIA’s established prudent, sustainable and progressive dividend policy, allowing for future growth opportunities and the financial flexibility of the Group.”

“As a result of our very strong financial position, the Board has approved a return of capital to shareholders of up to US$10.0billion to be conducted through a share buy-back programme over the next three years. The share buy-back represents capital accumulated over time that is surplus to our needs, allowing for capital market stress conditions and retention of capital for strategic and financial flexibility. This capital return programme enhances shareholder returns while retaining the financial strength that allows AIA to continue investing in the significant growth opportunities available to us with confidence.”

“Our focus on profitable growth continued to deliver attractive returns and, since our IPO, our new business investment of US$16.2 billion has increased the value of future distributable earnings for shareholders by US$44.5 billion. In 2021, we also committed US$2.4 billion to additional growth opportunities, further increasing our exposure to the highly-attractive Chinese life insurance market through our investment in China Post Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (China Post Life) and extending our distribution by partnering with The Bank of East Asia, Limited (BEA). In addition, we are investing up to US$1.5 billion by 2023 as we transform our use of technology, digital and analytics across the Group to support our future growth ambitions.”

“AIA China was again the largest contributor to the Group’s VONB and delivered a 10 per cent increase on a like-for-like basis, driven by a very strong double-digit increase in agent productivity in 2021. While active agent numbers declined slightly in the first half, our initiatives successfully supported a significant increase in recruitment and returned our differentiated agency to growth in the second half. The Chinese life insurance market remains significantly underpenetrated, offering tremendous growth potential for AIA. We see significant additional opportunities to help customers save for their long-term financial needs including retirement. Our new suite of long-term savings propositions are helping us to attract new customers and to deepen our share of wallet with existing customers.”



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Sri Lanka’s economic confidence index plummets

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‘No one has rated Sri Lanka’s economic condition as excellent. 1.8 % rated it as good and 1.3 % rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022, a wide ranging Verite Research public opinion survey reveals.

Key findings of the survey:

Government approval rating drops from 10% to 3%

The second round of the Gallup Style “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in June by Verité Research. It assessed the approval, satisfaction, and confidence of the nation in relation to the government, the country, and the economy.

The poll was conducted as a part of the syndicated survey instrument by Verité Research. This instrument also provides other organisations the opportunity to survey the sentiments of Sri Lanka.

1. Government approval rating | 3% | To the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the current government is working?” only 3% said they approve. In January 2022 this rating was at 10%.

2. Sri Lanka satisfaction | 2% | To the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in Sri Lanka?” only 2% said they were satisfied. This rating was at 6% in January 2022.

3. Economic confidence | negative (-) 96 | Multiple choice questions on the condition and trajectory of the economy are used to generate an economic confidence score. The score can range from negative (-) 100 to positive (+) 100. A score above zero means more people see the economic conditions positively rather than negatively. If everyone thinks the economy is in either excellent or good condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting better, the score will be (+) 10. If everyone thinks that the economy is in a poor condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting worse, the score will be a (-) 100. No one rated the economic condition as excellent. 1.8% rated it as good; and 1.3% rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022.

Implementation of “Mood of

the Nation”

The poll is based on an island wide nationally representative sample of responses from 1,052 Sri Lankan adults, conducted in June 2022. The sample and methodology was designed to ensure a maximum error margin of under 3% at a 95% confidence interval. The polling partner was Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd.

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Decline in share market in the wake of rate hike reports

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities began on a positive note yesterday but during the latter part of the day the market experienced a dip on account of the overall supply chain economy being subjected to a contraction, stemming from the fuel crisis. Consequently, CSE activities were relatively low keyed, market analysts said.

“We are reverting to the negative. There is uncertainty on all fronts, from the political to the economic. Therefore, we are expecting a rate hike on Thursday. This is creating a bit of a cloud and we may see this continuing further, a top market analyst said.

Even if top level decision- making is happening in Sri Lanka the impact is not felt at the grassroots level. This has resulted in unrest in the country, the analyst said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 97.9 points and S and P SL20 declined by 34.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 600,000 shares to the tune of Rs 73.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 122.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 611 million (7.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 173.9 million (one million shares traded). LOLC Holdings Rs 47.4 million (120,000 sha4es traded), Hayleys PLC Rs 46.5 million (697.000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 46.3 million (6.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs 21 million (173,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 20.5 million (794,000 shares traded). During the day 109 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, thereby raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package, observers said.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 54.6 per cent year-on-year in June against a 39.1 per cent rise in May, according to the Statistics Department.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 360.73, which is now being controlled due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank.

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Dialog Club vision members receive access to an exclusive screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

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In a bold and breath-taking new global adventure, the epic conclusion to the Jurassic film franchise ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ hit theatres across the world on June 10. Just a day after its global premiere, Dialog Club Vision Red members and their loved ones received special access to an exclusive screening of the film at the Kandy City Centre Multiplex on June 11.

The explosive end to the Jurassic era sees two generations of the film’s franchise unite for the first time with Hollywood’s Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill. Dialog Club Vision members were some of the first to witness the utopian world where Dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

With the best interests of its members and their loved ones at heart, Dialog Club Vision continues to deliver a world of exclusivity and privileges such as personalized care, exclusive discounts and offers, lifestyle and entertainment events and more. To explore more exciting offers available for Dialog Club Vision members, and to learn more about Sri Lanka’s premier loyalty programme, customers can visit the MyDialog App or visit dialog.lk/club-vision

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