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Genworth delay; cat loss estimates; Generali eyes bolt-on M&A


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Genworth delay; cat loss estimates; Generali eyes bolt-on M&A

Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. agreed to yet again extend the closing date for their merger, moving the closing deadline to April 30 from March 15 in consideration of pending regulatory reviews.

Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. priced an offering of €550 million of 1.349% senior notes due 2026 and €550 million of 1.979% senior notes due 2030, with the proceeds funding, in part, the acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC.

A so-called jackscrew found in the remains of the Boeing Co. 737 Max that crashed in Ethiopia suggests that the plane was set to dive, Bloomberg News reported, citing a source. This reportedly helped persuade U.S. regulators to ground the model.

The U.K. House of Commons voted in favor of postponing the March 29 Brexit date, avoiding, for now, the risk of crashing out of the EU without a deal. Lawmakers voted 412-202 backing a government motion to delay the departure from the bloc until June 30, as long as a Brexit deal could be passed by March 20.

As it sought nearly £400 million of fresh capital, Just Group PLC's CEO, Rodney Cook, said the "favorable prospects" in the U.K. life insurer's three main markets "warrant investor support, which we are clearly seeking today." Later in the day, the company announced that it raised gross proceeds of approximately £75 million from a share issue after the placement priced at 80 pence a share.

Generali is aiming to boost its position in European insurance through bolt-on acquisitions and will also look for deals beyond Europe to grow its asset management business, CEO Philippe Donnet said.

PartnerRe Ltd. entered into an agreement with Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. to reinsure longevity risk from an in-force block of Canadian group payout annuities.

Assurant Inc. expects 6% to 10% year-over-year growth in its net operating income per share in 2019 and 12% average annual growth for 2020 and 2021.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said he would not stand in the way of companies looking to go public through a direct listing.

PZU SACatastrophe risk modeler AIR Worldwide pegged insured losses due to wind from a recent winter storm in Europe in the range of €900 million to €1.5 billion, with Germany bearing the brunt.

Catastrophe insurance data provider PERILS AG placed its initial insured property market loss estimate from rains and flooding in northern Queensland, Australia, and in particular the city of Townsville, at A$957 million.

AIA Group Ltd. reported that consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders fell to US$2.60 billion, or 22 U.S. cents per share, for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2018, from US$6.50 billion, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The Hong Kong-based company's newly approved China sales centers are expected to open for business as soon as June, President and CEO Ng Keng Hooi said at a press conference.

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Auto improvements fuel return to profitability for another personal lines mutual: After posting its first sub-100% combined ratio excluding the impact of policyholder dividends in four years, Amica Mutual expects to see even more improvement in underwriting profitability this year.

US economy barely nicked by 2018 trade wars as consumers take the strain: study: The trade battles of 2018 cost the U.S. economy $7.8 billion, or just 0.04% of GDP, though the loss to U.S. consumers and producers amounted to $68.8 billion, or 0.37% of GDP, according to National Bureau of Economic Research research.

Roche's MabThera gets EU nod for rare disease; Azar grilled on Medicaid plans: The European Commission approved MabThera to treat a rare condition affecting the skin and mucus membranes; and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was grilled by senators on the Trump administration's Medicaid proposals.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Hong Kong fines 4 global banks; UBS Australia faces probe over A$1.2B loan

Europe: BBVA spying case fallout; UBS slapped with new fine; Brexit hangs in balance

Middle East & Africa: Dubai payments firm tables London IPO; Standard Bank to cut 1,200 jobs

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.56% to 29,012.26, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.77% to 21,450.85.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.56% to 7,225.49, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.90% to 1,046.14.

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 Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the industrial production report, the consumer sentiment report, the JOLTS report, the Treasury international capital report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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