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Insurer AIA third-quarter new business posts tepid rise as Hong Kong demand slows

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Oct 28 (Reuters) - Asia-focused insurer AIA Group Ltd said on Monday it posted only a small rise in new business for the third quarter, affected by a "challenging operating environment" in Hong Kong amid political unrest in the Asian financial hub.

AIA's new business value, which measures expected profits from new premiums and is a key gauge for future growth, inched up 1% to $980 million in the three months to Sept. 30. Excluding Hong Kong, new business grew 14%.

"The reduced numbers of Mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong continue to affect sales," the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)