AIA Could See Boost From Return of Chinese Visitors to Hong Kong


Insurers including AIA Group Ltd. and Prudential Plc just got some good news for their Hong Kong business prospects: the gradual return of mainland Chinese visitors.

The Hong Kong government announced on Tuesday that it would allow visitors from mainland China and Macau into the city without mandatory quarantine starting from Sept. 15. The travel program will allow 2,000 non-Hong Kong residents a day from the two places. 

The limited number might not move the needle for insurers like AIA, which once counted on Chinese travelers for as much as half of its Hong Kong insurance sales. Still, it presages further relaxation that could boost the two along with China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co., Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam wrote on Tuesday.

Hong Kong’s insurance business focusing on mainland visitors has been decimated in recent years, first by social unrest, then by pandemic travel curbs. Sales to such clients slumped to 11 policies a day in the first half, from 1,187 two years earlier, Lam wrote.

The news boosted stocks that stand to benefit. AIA’s shares rose as much as 0.3% to the highest in more than a week. China Taiping climbed as much as 1.3% to the highest since early July. Beauty product retailer Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd. jumped more than 7% while Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group gained 5.5%. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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