In the news
AssuredGuaranty Ltd. unit Assured Guaranty Corp. to acquire MBIA UK Insurance Ltd., the European operatingsubsidiary of MBIA InsuranceCorp. The purchase price consists of the transfer to MBIA UK(Holdings) Ltd. of notes issued by Zohar II 2005-1 CLO with an aggregate outstandingprincipal amount of approximately $347 million and a cash payment by MBIA UKHoldings to Assured Guaranty Corp. of $23 million.
The Justice Department will no longer pursue its previouscomplaint that AnthemInc.'s proposed merger with Cigna Corp. would hamper competition in the AffordableCare Act's individual health insurance market, the HartfordCourant reported, citing aletter filed Sept. 27 in federal court in Washington, D.C. The department will,however, continue to argue that the transaction reduces competition in themarkets for the sale of commercial health insurance to national and large groupaccounts, according to the report.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management saidpremiums for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will rise by anaverage of 4.4% in 2017. The government pays about 70% of the health benefitpremiums on average under the program, which has about 85% of all federalemployees as participants.
The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Bankingapproved healthinsurance plan ratesfor DC Health Link, the district's health insurance marketplace, for plan year2017. The average increase in 2017 premiums across all insurers is 7.27% forindividuals and 0.36% for small group plans.
JeffersonNational Life Insurance Co. CEO Mitchell Caplan's the companywithin a larger financial services enterprise helped lead to 'sagreement to the variableannuity provider, the same sort of rationale that led him to pursue thesale of abranchless bank to E*TRADEFinancial Corp. years ago, notes an S&P Global MarketIntelligence report.
The HartfordFinancial Services Group Inc. looks to be to the story ofits U.S. variable annuity business, with a media indicating that it is seeking tosell the operations, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence report.The business was hit hard by the financial crisis, as former Chairman and CEOLiam McGee explained during a shareholders meeting in May 2010. In response, thecompany scaled back the business and offered a new product with better riskcharacteristics.
CaliforniaPublic Employees' Retirement System saw cost of specialty drugsincrease 30% in 2015 to $587 million, according to a reportby California Healthline. CalPERS has seen an overall increase of 40% indrug costs since 2010, according to the report.
The U.S. sent a shot across the bow toward German supervisors and thereinsurance companies they regulate. The German reinsurance market could feelthe effects of retaliatory action of the U.S. state insurance regulatory systemfor its onerous requirements for U.S. companies under Solvency II, according toan NAIC official testifying before Congress.
U.S. Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.,introduced H.R. 6196,or the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act, which aims to mitigatethe financial resources expended by the National Flood Insurance Program andtaxpayers on claims for properties flooded multiple times.
All top 10 private auto insurers by market share higher direct premiumswritten year over year in the second quarter, but premium growth for threeinsurers slowed to varying degrees.
Rising non-weather-related water claims are not onlyimpacting the bottom line at Citizens Property Insurance Corp.; they are also likelyto result in rising policy counts at the state-run insurer of last resort asprivate carriers increasinglyeschew multiperil risks in South Florida.
Coral Springs, Fla.-based DTRT Insurance Group Miami-based retail property and casualty insurance brokerage firmSetnor and Associates for undisclosed terms, the Insurance Journal reported.
Harford MutualInsurance Co. President and CEO Steven Linkous assumed of the .
Financial news inother parts of the world
Europe:Phoenix buys Abbey Life;Barclays, Credit Suisse in US MBS talks
MiddleEast & Africa: Saudi Arabia'sbond issue; Ghana's e-fraud worries
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower openingfor the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.51% to 23,739.47, and theNikkei 225 was up 1.39% to 16,693.71.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.59% to6,915.83, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.36% to 887.29.
On the macro front
The GDP report, the international trade in goods report, thejobless claims report, pending home sales index, the EIA natural gas report,the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.