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Indian insurers prep for IPOs; AIG closes Australia aviation biz

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

IPOs in India

* Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd. and U.K.-based Standard Life Plc may opt for an IPO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd. if the joint venture's proposed merger with Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. does not push through. Standard Life said it would propose an IPO of its joint venture, a day after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India declined to grant approval for the HDFC Standard Life/Max Life deal.

* ICICI Bank Ltd. said it will sell part of its stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. through an IPO, with size and other details to be disclosed in due course. ICICI Lombard General Insurance has reportedly begun preparations for an IPO, with plans to list in the second half of the current fiscal year.

* Meanwhile, New India Assurance Co. Ltd. reportedly plans to sell 15% of its shares to raise as much as 80 billion Indian rupees through an IPO. The company has already applied to the insurance regulator for an in-principle approval for the listing, which could happen in the next six to eight months.

Regulatory moves

* The China Insurance Regulatory Commission has asked insurers to inspect their quarterly solvency reports since 2016 and check the authenticity of relevant data. The latest notice from the CIRC echoes an April 28 notice that said the regulator would scrutinize insurers' shareholders.

* Pakistan's securities regulator approved a draft legislation that calls for instituting reforms in the insurance industry, including the introduction of microinsurers and provisions for the regulation of takaful and re-takaful, or Islamic insurance and reinsurance.

* The China Insurance Regulatory Commission gave Pacific Life Re Ltd. approval to establish a representative office in Shanghai.

In other news

* American International Group Inc. shut down its aviation insurance business in Australia and New Zealand amid tough competition in the market.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed the insurer financial strength rating of China United Property Insurance Co. Ltd. at A-, with a stable outlook.

* Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. said its chairman, Wu Xiaohui, is free to travel overseas, despite other sources saying he has been barred from leaving China.

* S&P Global Ratings assigned first-time local-currency long-term issuer credit and insurer financial strength ratings to Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Insurance China at A+, with a stable outlook.

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