Presenting the company’s interim results on Thursday, AIA’s regional chief executive Gordon Watson said the value of new business in Hong Kong increased from $335m (€305m, £255m) to $537m year-on-year due to a “substantial uplift in new business from mainland Chinese customers”.
Mark Tucker, AIA’s group chief executive and president, said the company’s IFA business “gew strongly” in the first half of this year.
China allows individuals to exchange up to $50,000 a year into foreign currencies but the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe) attempted earlier this year to crack down on channels allowing citizens to move large amounts of money offshore.
In February, the regulator sought to limit the use of Chinese-issued credit cards to buy expensive insurance policies abroad by enforcing a $5,000 cap on the purchase of financial products via the country’s state-controlled card monopoly, China UnionPay.
Meanwhile, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) warned in April that Hong Kong insurance products are not protected under mainland law in a bid to discourage investors from further capital flight.
However, figures from Hong Kong’s insurance industry suggest the number of offshore insurance products in the city-state grew in popularity as a vehicle for holding individual wealth since China began devaluing the renminbi in August last year. The currency fell to RMB6.67 ($1, £0.76, €0.9) from RMB6.21 on August 2015.
Earlier this week, insurance companies in Hong Kong reported a 3.5% increase in assets under management to HK$468bn (£45.9bn, $60.3bn, €54.8bn) during 2015.
In addition, a report by Moody’s found that customers from China paid HK$3.7m-HK$6.1m on average single-paid premiums for life and investment-linked policies, significantly more than the HK$75,000-HK$122,000 paid by average consumers.