Value of new business (VONB) of US$853 million, down 18 per cent
New business sales regaining momentum as Omicron infections subside
Annualised new premiums (ANP) reduced by 7 per cent to US$1,567 million
VONB margin down 7.6 pps to 54.4 per cent
Total weighted premium income (TWPI) up 5 per cent to US$9,948 million
Lee Yuan Siong, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President, said:
“AIA’s geographically diversified portfolio of businesses is well positioned to capture the long-term opportunities across Asia, the world’s most attractive region for life and health insurance. While the Omicron variant of COVID-19 caused a temporary disruption to new business sales in the first quarter of 2022 as we previously highlighted, our businesses are regaining momentum where infections have passed their peak and disruptions have begun to subside.
“Our significant investments in technology, digital and analytics are enabling our businesses to successfully adapt to the complex and fluid operating environment, helping to progressively reduce the impact on our sales from successive waves of the pandemic. Supported by our digital tools and remote capabilities, our businesses outside Mainland China and Hong Kong delivered VONB in the first quarter of 2022 that was 50 per cent above the level achieved in the first wave of the pandemic during the second quarter of 2020.
“I am confident that our consistent focus on the execution of our strategy will deliver long-term growth and sustainable value for all of our stakeholders as we help millions more people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.”
In the first quarter of 2022, the Omicron variant drove unprecedented levels of COVID-19 infections and a temporary disruption to new business sales across many of our markets. While the timing has varied by market, in most cases daily infections increased exponentially and subsequently fell rapidly, limiting the duration of the most significant sales disruption. In markets where infections have fallen substantially from their peak, we have seen sales activity rebound.
AIA China remained the largest contributor to the Group in the first quarter of 2022. As previously reported, a regulatory change in February 2021 accelerated demand for traditional protection and drove an exceptional first quarter. While VONB margin declined as strong sales of long-term savings maintained the more balanced product mix of the second half of last year, we delivered an increase in ANP compared to the first quarter of 2021.
CSE recovers following CBSL chief’s observations on local economy
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka’s shares moved up within the first hour of trading yesterday though the market proved to be highly volatile. However, it later showed some marginal recovery following Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe’s positive comments on the local economy. He hinted that the economy would become stable and register steady growth by next year.
Weerasinghe said inflation will reach a maximum level of 65 per cent by September and will likely indicate a downward trend afterwards. “The reason being that the Central Bank managed the sagging economy quite well and now we could provide the basic needs of the people with our current export revenue and inward remittances, he said at the CBSL’s monthly policy review meeting yesterday.
Amid these developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index rose by 3.22 points (0.04 per cent) to end at 8910.57 and S and P SL20 gained 22.36 points (0.76 per cent) to end the day at 2969.36. Turnover stood at Rs 2.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 500,000 shares to the tune of Rs 63.75 million; its shares traded at Rs 120.50.
In the retail market, seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 578 million (three million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 313 million (1.5 million shares traded), Lankem Development Rs 208 million (ten million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 84.6 million (ten million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 83 million (114,000 shares traded), Agstar Rs 82.7 million (6.8 million shares traded) and Renuka Agri Foods Rs 72.6 million (9.8 million shares traded). During the day 115 million share volumes changed hands in 29000 transactions. Yesterday the Central Bank announced the US dollar buying rate as Rs 357.33 and the selling rate as Rs 368.70.
An interview with Yiran An, senior product manager, vivo Imaging Centre
World Photography Day
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Q. World Photography Day is observed every year on 19th of August. How does vivo view this momentous occasion?
World Photography Day is the time when people of all age groups all over the world are united in the spirit of photography. It is a day when a professional photographer, a hobbyist, or anyone who clicks pictures with a smartphone or camera celebrates World Photography Day by clicking the elusive to microscopic subjects in the most beautiful frames. vivo as a leading technology brand believes that it is not an arbitrary date, rather it holds a special historical significance which gave birth to the invention of the Daguerreotype, the first commercially successful photographic imaging technology.
We, as one of the innovators of smartphone photography, are working to provide a “human-centered” creator spirit to our users asking them to create and exceed beyond what is seen around. vivo wants to ensure that the leading minds should not limit their creativity. Thus, we work rigorously to create humanized professional images using smartphone camera technology to meet the needs of diverse users, allowing them to take stunning photos, while building up an ecosystem to change the mobile photography outlook.
Q. Smartphone cameras are built within severe space limitations. How does the sleek brand of vivo deal with this challenge?
Talking about the structure and imaging principle of our smartphones, we have gone through leaps and bounds to reach the advanced levels of imaging. Sensor is the main components of the camera; it ensures the image quality and camera performance. More than 80% of our workforce is invested in research and development, we are known to conduct rigorous studies to understand consumer aspirations. Following this exhaustive analysis of the changing trends in photography, vivo conceptualised the compatible sensors to provide best-suited smartphones under V, Y and X Series. Our strategic partnership with leading lens sensor manufacturers helps us to design sensors that are more compatible with vivo’s imaging features and deliver quality input for smartphone photography from the underlying technology.
Q. The focal length has to be right for a quality image. How has vivo improved this technology over the years?
Easy, fast, accurate focus in camera technology has marked a radical step in setting the standard for future smartphone cameras with tremendous focal length. we have progressed over years and now vivo’s smartphones are known to improve autofocus performance by packing each pixel with photodiodes that intelligently register frame and pattern changes in all directions for Autofocus to appear instantaneous. By combining with other hardware and software technologies, it can achieve a larger anti-shaking angle and provide cleared images even for farther objects.
We have also found Autofocus as a solution for blurry images by equipping the device with Eye Autofocus. This feature intelligently captures the most intrinsic frame details and maintains the camera focus for seamlessly capturing moments, even in motion. Bringing this hi-tech advancement to their smartphones has been nothing short of a milestone in vivo’s camera evolution. Additionally, our hardware advantages and Motion Deblur algorithm improves the clarity and success rate of motion portrait capture, and constantly expands the applicable scenarios of motion capture.
Q. We hear a lot about pixels of a smartphone camera. What does it mean?
Yes! Pixels are the building blocks of digital photography which captures the light to make up your image. Higher pixel-count cameras promise better resolution images. We at vivo have developed high-resolution sensors to combine pixels for better light capture. These larger sensors are vastly improving the quality of day and especially low-light photography. The X80 model for instance offers outstanding night scene effects in conjunction with the 50MP Ultra-Sensing Sensor Camera, known for its pro-grade skills, better colors, professional grade output even in low light environments. It is equipped with IMX866 RGBW sensor that delivers images in greater detail and improves the camera performance in dark and low-light scenarios.
Q. How does vivo technology enable the aperture in its smartphone cameras?
In the current times, variable aperture can be one of the unique selling points in any new smartphone known for photography. Although many have seen vivo’s advancement in imaging technology, but Night Sports Mode feature is a new addition that combines Motion Deblur and night algorithms to enhance clarity and the production success rate of snapshots with larger aperture to ensure noise free and stunning images at night. We as a consumer centric brand constantly look around for ways to create smartphone cameras that compete with DSLR cameras. Having said that, X Series has already enabled smartphone photographers to switch between a low aperture for portraits and macro shots with a blurry background and a higher aperture for more depth and detailed images in the smartphone itself. Together with ZEISS’ optical expertise and imaging effects we have develop vivo’s new unique mobile photography features and offer users and professional ZEISS photography enthusiasts with styled, differentiated photography experiences.
To be Continued
DFCC Bank partners with SLASSCOM
DFCC Bank, one of the premier commercial banks in Sri Lanka, has announced that it has formally entered into a partnership with SLASSCOM, the apex body representing the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka, a sector that is one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country. Given that the industry has been adversely impacted as a result of the present energy crisis, through this partnership, DFCC Bank and SLASSCOM will work together to provide accessible and affordable financing for sustainable power generation for the sector, through special financing schemes, concessionary rates, and other exclusive benefits. With over 420 member companies, encompassing an employee base of 115,000+ people, SLASSCOM’s membership accounts for approximately 90% of Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry’s export revenue.
The partnership between the two giants was officially entered into with the signing of an MOU recently, and the occasion was held at the DFCC Bank Head Office where senior officials from both organizations were present. Thimal Perera – Director/CEO, DFCC Bank PLC, and Ashique Ali–Vice Chair, SLASSCOM signed on behalf of both entities.
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