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Insurers in Asia report steady embedded value growth amid COVID-19 pandemic

Milliman today released its annual ‘2020 mid-year embedded value results: Asia’ report. This update supplements the ‘2019 embedded value results: Asia’ report released in September 2020, and includes 2020 mid-year embedded value (EV) and value of new business (VNB) results posted by major multinational and domestic life insurers across Asia.

“Most companies in the region recorded steady EV growth in the first half of 2020 despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Milliman Principal and Consulting Actuary Paul Sinnott. “The growth in VNB was mixed across Asian markets, with new business sales in some markets severely affected by government restrictions in response to the coronavirus.”

A complimentary copy of the report is available for download here.

A few key insights from the report include:

  • The China and Japan markets led EV growth in the Asia region with most insurers recording double-digit growth in EV.
  • When compared with the first half of 2019, changes in VNB and new business margins in the first half of 2020 were varied. China, which entered and exited lockdown earlier than other Asian markets, was less affected than most VNB, growth-wise. In Hong Kong, the continuing social unrest, restrictions on travel from mainland China, virus-related lockdowns and lower interest rates all contributed to a significant decline in VNB.  
  • All multinationals disclosing results reported a decline in VNB, which they commonly attributed to lower new business sales, unfavourable economic changes and changes to operating assumptions in key markets.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a greater focus on product innovation and digital transformation across the region. Insurers and regulators have taken steps to facilitate digital sales in response to lockdowns and social distancing measures adopted by most governments. This helped insurers in some markets mitigate reductions in sales to an extent.
  • The pandemic has also typically increased demand for protection products across Asia.

For more details, please contact Paul Sinnott in Hong Kong at paul.sinnott@milliman.com.

Insurers across Asia report double-digit embedded value growth through 2019

Milliman today announced the findings of its annual study on reported year-end 2019 embedded value (EV) and value of new business (VNB) results for 53 major multinational and domestic life insurers across Asia. The Milliman 2019 Embedded Value Results: Asia report highlights trends in published EV results, including a total growth in reported EV in 2019 of 11.1% to USD 816 billion but a VNB fall of 3.6% to USD 51.1 billion. The report also provides an in-depth analysis of the EV methodologies and assumptions adopted, as well as the impact of key regulations and other market developments in the region.

“All of Asia’s markets, apart from Japan, reported positive growth in EV results for the year.” said Milliman Principal and Consulting Actuary Paul Sinnott. “VNB results were more mixed, with some markets being adversely affected by record low interest rates and reduced sales volumes. It is important to recognise that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are yet to be felt in these results, however, as most Asian markets have a 31 December financial year-end.”

A complimentary copy of the report is available for download here.

A few key insights from the report include:

  • The China and Hong Kong markets led EV growth, posting increases of 20% and 19% respectively. Several other markets also reported double-digit growth in EV.
  • China Life continues to report the largest EV among insurers across Asia. Among multinationals, AIA continues to be the largest insurer in Asia, both by EV and VNB.   
  • Strategic shifts towards selling more protection business continue, as interest rates fall throughout the region, making traditional savings-oriented business less profitable.
  • Risk Based Capital regulations continue to evolve across Asia and will have an impact on EV and VNB in the longer term.
  • Traditional Embedded Value methodologies continue to be most popular in the region, with Market Consistent EV/VNB reporting being prevalent in Japan and India, as well as in European insurers’ Asian subsidiaries.
  • The 2019 EV results act as a useful starting point for analysing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be partially reflected in insurers’ H1 2020 EV disclosures and are expected to show up to a greater extent in the 2020 year-end EV results.