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AIA Group records 5 per cent hike in OPAT for 2020 first half

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AIA Group Limited (the “Company”; stock code: 1299) announces a resilient financial performance for the six months ended June 30, 2020.Operating profit after tax (OPAT) increased by 5 per cent to US$2,933 million, reflecting the quality and growth of in-force business.

While value of new business (VONB) of US$1,410 million was lower in the first half, the Group has delivered very strong month-on-month VONB growth in markets as they emerged from COVID-19 containment measures.

The Group’s financial position remained strong and robust with 11 per cent growth in underlying free surplus generation and the solvency ratio on the HKIO basis for AIA Company Limited (AIA Co.) was 328 per cent.

The Board has declared a 5 per cent increase in the interim dividend to 35.00 Hong Kong cents per share. This reflects both the Group’s strong financial position and the unprecedented macroeconomic and capital markets environment caused by COVID-19.

Lee Yuan Siong, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, said:

“I am extremely proud of the way AIA’s businesses have responded with speed and compassion to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided uninterrupted support to our customers and communities. I am grateful for their dedication, collaboration and contributions in these unprecedented times.

“We saw very strong signs of recovery in new business sales from our markets as containment measures were eased. The growth in operating profit after tax and underlying free surplus generation demonstrates the resilience of our large and growing in-force portfolio and solvency for AIA Co. remains strong. The Board has declared a 5 per cent increase in the interim dividend following our prudent, sustainable and progressive dividend policy allowing for future growth opportunities and the financial flexibility of the Group.

“Since I assumed the role of Group Chief Executive and President in June, I have been working closely with the senior leadership team across the Group to develop and implement our strategic plans. We will build on our significant competitive advantages and transform AIA into a simpler, faster, more connected organisation. We will provide personalised and meaningful propositions for our customers, backed by exceptional technology and digital tools to deliver outstanding service. I am incredibly excited to embark on the next successful chapter in AIA’s history and to continue to deliver long-term sustainable value for our shareholders.”

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Business

Abans to divest stake in Abans Finance to Softlogic Capital

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In meeting the aspirations of the government of Sri Lanka and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to develop a stronger financial system, Abans PLC, the controlling shareholder of Abans Finance PLC, will be selling its stake in the finance company to Softlogic Capital PLC, the holding company of Softlogic Finance PLC, with a capital gain. The Boards of both Abans PLC and Softlogic Capital PLC approved the proposed transaction on the 29th of September 2020.

Abans Finance PLC was established as a registered Finance Leasing company in 2006. The principal lines of business include finance leasing, mortgage loans, personal loans, and acceptance of time and savings deposits. The company currently operates across island through a network of branches and customer service centres. Softlogic Finance PLC was established as a registered Finance Leasing company in 1999. The company operates through a branch network of 36 locations and offers leasing, mortgage loans, personal loans, gold loans and acceptance of time and savings deposits.

Shareholders of Abans Finance PLC will have the option to accept cash at a price of LKR 30.1 through the mandatory offer for every share held in Abans Finance PLC, which reflects a premium of 47% to the recently traded price of LKR 20.50 as of 28th September 2020 or accept 11 shares in Softlogic Finance PLC for every 6 shares held at Abans Finance PLC on the subsequent amalgamation. This transaction is subject to obtaining all necessary shareholder approvals and regulatory approvals from Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Colombo Stock Exchange, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka.

(Abans PLC)

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Investors going in for CSE’s low value stocks

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Investors  are buying low value stocks in the CSE and this has become a sort of trend, CSE’s  Head- Research and New Products  Nishantha Hewavithana said.

” There is no manipulation in the CSE but basically investors are now interested in low value stocks, which in future may move up in price, Hewavithana told The Island Financial Review

However, both CSE indices went down following an announcement by Moody’s Investors Service, downgrading Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating, As a result, the All  Share Price Index went down by 30.48 points and  S and P SL20 declined by 16.75 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.15 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in HNB, which crossed five million shares to the tune of Rs. 634 million at a per share value of Rs. 125, Hayleys Fabrics one million shares crossed for Rs. 24 million at a per share value of Rs. 24 and Commercial Bank 275,000 shares crossed for Rs. 22 million, the per share value being Rs. 80. 

In the retail market, top five contributors to the turnover were; HNB Rs. 557 million (4.45 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 161 million (14.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Fabrics Rs. 158.5 million (6.4 million shares  traded), Commercial Bank Rs. 130.8 million (1.6 million shares traded) and Sampath Bank Rs. 120.2 million (896,000 shares traded). During the day  163 million share volumes changed hands in 22290 transactions. 

Softlogic Capital PLC has agreed to acquire 33,063,877 ordinary shares amounting to 49.67 percent of the issued ordinary shares of Abans Finance PLC from its major shareholder Abans PLC at a price of Rs.30.10 per share, subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals for the acquisition.

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Introducing Seylan World Mastercard

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A world of opportunities at your fingertips

Reinforcing their presence as a customer-centric financial entity in Sri Lanka, Seylan Bank introduced the exclusive Seylan World Mastercard Credit Card as a part of the strategy to expand its premier range of credit cards.

The seylan Premier Credit Card experience invites consumers to indulge in luxury with around the clock offers at over 800+ selected merchant outlets. Shopaholics can now experience shopping to their heart’s content with exclusive offers from a range of reputed partners including 20% discounts on bills over Rs.3000 at Keells Super outlets on weekends and 1% cashback every month when pumping fuel with their Seylan Premier Credit Card.

In addition to these exceptional benefits, Seylan Bank is the only bank with World Mastercard to launch a loyalty points cashback system. For every Rs. 300 spent, Premier Card holders can earn 1 point which is equal to Rs. 1. The earned loyalty points will be credited to the Credit Card statement on the following billing cycle. The Seylan range of Premier Cards are NFC enabled making transactions swift and easy for all customers.

Seylan’s range of credit cards are known for their fantastic range of offers throughout the year. With Seylan World Mastercard Credit Card, they are now expanding the offerings to suit the growing needs of consumers looking out for international standards and exclusivity on products & services. Some of the most exclusive benefits are, global airport concierge services, access to ‘Boingo Wifi’, exclusive destination LIMO services, opportunity to participate in a Lounge key program, access to global medical services, opportunity to indulge in a variety of exclusive golf experiences, attractive travel Insurance schemes and so much more.

Seylan has always been at the forefront of introducing novel experiences to its consumers, giving them the opportunity to experience the best of life. Seylan Credit Cards is recognised as a ‘must have card’ for those looking to obtain the best deals with maximum value and maximum savings when purchasing items across essential categories.

As the Bank with a Heart, Seylan has once again proved their unwavering commitment to offer customers the ultimate banking experience. Team Seylan will continue to implement a style of progressive banking by integrating rapidly evolving, cutting-edge technology, innovative products, and inclusive services to set a new benchmark in the banking sector.

 For more information on the Seylan Premier Card Experience, customers can simply contact

their dedicated Premier Hotline on +94 112008877 or email premiercards@seylan.lk.

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