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Weekly news through July 14

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Weekly news through July 14

This weekly articleoffers a compilation of noteworthy stories on insurance companies in theAsia-Pacific region. Some items may be linked to third-party articles.

M&A activityremains subdued: China-based Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd. andAnbang Insurance GroupCo. garnered some headlines in connection with potential dealsduring an otherwise slow week for M&A activity involving Asia-Pacificinsurers.

Ping An Insurance reportedly moved to the second round ofbidding for CIT GroupInc.'s aircraft leasing assets, joining other potential buyers,including China's HNA Group. The deadline for the second round of bids is inAugust, the sources said.

Meanwhile, a member of the South Korean government committeeworking on a sale of WooriBank denied that Anbang Insurance has shown interest in astake in the lender.

The South Korean government is making another go atprivatizing Woori Bank with numerous potential buyers already expressing aninterest in the stake. Anbang Insurance was reportedly interested in the 51.06% stake but YouJong-il, a member of the panel tasked with selling the lender denied theChinese insurer's interest.

In India, LifeInsurance Corp. of India is reportedlylikely to buy a significant part of the assets of Specified Undertaking of theUnit Trust of India. LIC may spend between 250 billion rupees and 300 billionrupees to buy a third and half of the equity assets of SUUTI.

In addition, ClearView Wealth Ltd. is for possible buyers in Asia tofacilitate the proposed exit of majority shareholder Crescent Capital Partners.Simon Swanson, managing director of the diversified Australian financialservices company, said he is particularly focused on wooing mid-market insurersin Japan, South Korea and China.

India's insurancesector gets more players: More players are looking to enter India'sinsurance market or branch out in other insurance fields.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of Indiaapproved Aditya BirlaHealth Insurance Co. Ltd.'s plan to commence health insurance business. AdityaBirla Health Insurance is a joint venture between Aditya Birla Nuvo and SouthAfrica's MMI HoldingsLtd.

Meanwhile, Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. to enter the generalinsurance business in the country. The company has already obtained approvalfrom IRDAI for its new business, which will be called Edelweiss GeneralInsurance Co.

The following is abreakdown of articles by region, based on the geographic origins of stories.

EAST ASIA

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd.'sinsurer financial strength rating at A+, with a negative outlook. The insurer'srating reflects expectations that it will maintain its solid capitalization androbust franchise, the rating agency said.

* Ping An Insurance plans to develop a prime residential site in Suzhou,China, with Yanlord Land GroupLtd. Subsidiaries of the two firms have established a joint venturefor the project.

* China LifeInsurance Co. Ltd. reported a 33% year-over-year increase in net profit forthe second quarter. The company's net profit rose year over year to NT$3.22billion from NT$2.42 billion.

SOUTH ASIA

* ICICI PrudentialLife Insurance Co. Ltd. is aiming to conduct its planned IPO in the currentfinancial year ending March 31, 2017. Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEOof ICICI Bank Ltd.,refused to disclose the size of ICICI Prudential Life's proposed listing.

* IRDAI asked life insurers not to delay claim payments ifclaimants object to filling out the discharge voucher, the Press Trust of Indiareported.The insurance regulator said life insurers must not insist on the dischargevoucher or make it conditional before releasing the policy payment. It isstandard practice for life insurers to ask policyholders to fill out a blankdischarge voucher about two to three months in advance before raising a claim.

* India needs at least 2.1 million insurance employees by2025 and 3 million by 2030 to fill staff needs, The Times of India reported,citing estimates from the Confederation of Indian Industry. The insuranceindustry needs to divide employment in two categories, indirect and direct, tofill this huge gap, said Sushobhan Sarkar, director of National InsuranceAcademy. Indirect employment means employing agents, corporate agents, brokersand village-level entrepreneurs.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Mercer started its delegated investment solutions business inSingapore and appointed Soon Kian Lee to head the business. In Singapore,Mercer intends to serve government investment funds, insurance companies, banksand pension funds, among others.

* Generali launched a new company, Generali Life (Hong Kong) Ltd.,which will offer insurance products, including traditional life, unit-linkedand universal life insurance, targeted at high-net-worth individuals and massaffluent clients.

* ManulifeFinancial Corp. raisedthe chartered capital of its Vietnam operations by 38% to 1.35 trillion dong.In addition, Manulife plans to open 10 new offices in Vietnam in 2016, addingto its network of 45 offices as of the end of 2015.

AUSTRALIA AND NEWZEALAND

* FidelityLife Assurance Co. Ltd. appointed Nadine Tereora CEO. Tereora replaces MiltonJennings, who stepped down as CEO earlier in 2016. Ed Eadie will continue in hisrole as acting CEO until Tereora joins the company in October. Meanwhile,Tereora resigned from her current role as executive general manager of customerexperience at Suncorp New Zealand.

* QBEInsurance Group Ltd. named Andrew Broughton executive general manager for itscorporate partners and direct teams.