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Icahn ends Express Scripts feud; Willis suing Alliant; Swiss Life profit rises


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Icahn ends Express Scripts feud; Willis suing Alliant; Swiss Life profit rises

Carl Icahn ended his activist campaign against Cigna Corp.'s pending acquisition of Express Scripts Holding Co. after proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders approve the transaction. Icahn informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that he no longer intends to solicit proxies to vote against the deal.

A subsidiary of funds advised by Bain Capital Private Equity LP agreed to acquire U.K. personal lines insurer Esure Group Plc for 280 pence per share, valuing the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of the insurer at approximately £1.21 billion.

U.K.-based Willis Towers Watson PLC is suing California-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. for attempting to "decimate" its construction business by poaching a 12-person team from Willis, reported.

Three former merger and acquisition underwriters of London-based Neon Underwriting Ltd. won a lawsuit against the company, with a U.K. High Court judge ruling that it breached their employment contracts when attempting to make changes to them, The Insurance Insider reported.

The board of Irish insurer FBD Holdings PLC said "internal allegations" against CEO Fiona Muldoon have not been upheld by an independent investigation that was launched in June.

Global reinsurer capital stood at $610 billion as of March 31, Aon Benfield said, up 1% compared to the end of 2017. Traditional reinsurance capital remained flat at $515 billion, while alternative capital increased by 7% to $95 billion, or 16% of the total. Second-quarter catastrophe bond issuance of $4 billion was the third-highest for a second quarter in history.

Pressure is mounting on Lloyd's of London syndicates to place more of their business electronically, despite targets having been exceeded in the second quarter.

U.K.-based Pension Insurance Corp. PLC concluded a pension insurance buyout of a scheme that covers £800 million of liabilities and about 9,000 members.

Swiss Life Holding AG reported first-half consolidated net profit attributable to equity holders of CHF558 million, up from CHF521 million in the prior-year period. Net earned premiums also rose to CHF7.94 billion from CHF7.52 billion.

South Korea-based Samsung Life Insurance Co. Ltd. filed a civil suit with the Seoul Central District Court seeking to overturn a decision by South Korea's financial regulator that it must compensate a client for alleged overcharging, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. is in talks to acquire private equity firm MBK Partners Ltd.'s 59.15% stake in ING Life Insurance Korea Ltd., The Chosun Ilbo reported.

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Tech titans to ease access to health data; Icahn concedes to Cigna/Express deal: Carl Icahn has decided to end his activist campaign against Cigna's pending acquisition of Express Scripts; and technology giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft pledged to remove technological barriers to healthcare.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: NAB fiscal Q3 cash earnings fall YOY; KKR mulls IPO of most Indian operations

Europe: Esure, Bain Capital reach £1.21B deal; Swiss Life names CFO; Aareal posts profit

Middle East and Africa: Bahrain's Bank ABC, Gulf International Bank post results; Uganda holds key rate

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, Hang Seng dropped 0.66% to 27,752.93, while the Nikkei 225 gained 2.28% to 22,356.08.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.02% to 7,643.69, and the Euronext 100 rose 0.43% to 1,065.51.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The import and export prices report and the Redbook Index for retail sales are due out today. The National Federation of Independent Business' index of small business optimism increased to 107.9 in July from 107.2 in June.

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