In the news
Two massive hurricanes, Matthew and Hermine, impacted parts of the U.S. in 2016 and were the first major hurricanes to make landfall in the country since 2005. While many have called it an average or below-average year for catastrophe losses, disastrous flood events provided a push for more flood insurance uptake in 2017, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported.
Under an irrevocable, single-premium group annuity contract, publishing company McClatchy Co. will transfer to American United Life Insurance Co. some of the outstanding pension benefit obligations under The McClatchy Company Retirement Plan. The estimated projected benefit obligation related to annuitants was $46 million. The plan paid $49.5 million in cash, including related insurance premium, according to a Form 8-K filing.
Jennifer Hammer, deputy chief of staff for policy in the Illinois Office of the Governor, will replace Anne Dowling as director of the state insurance department.
Rate decreases for CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Co. and its subsidiary were among the most notable workers' compensation rate reductions during November, combining for a decrease of $6.0 million in premiums written in their domiciled state of Arizona.
In catastrophe bond news, Gator Re Ltd. investors must brace themselves for potential losses as the cat bond transaction seems to have exceeded the point at which qualifying losses would start to reduce investor principal. The transaction's attachment point was set at $175 million, but it appears that the loss tally hit approximately $195.2 million at the end of November, Artemis reported.
Two tranches of participating notes amounting to $85 million were listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, the insurance-linked securities blog reported. The notes are part of the $160 million Limestone Re Ltd. multiyear collateralized reinsurance sidecar-like transaction from Liberty Mutual.
A provision in the National Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 will allow the next U.S. Secretary of Defense to roll out a pilot program that would create some sort of private health insurance exchange for military reservists, LifeHealthPro reported. With the five-year pilot program, reservists and their families can access national and regional health benefits plans.
Sanofi sues Novo Nordisk over false claims; Abbott to divest some of its assets: Sanofi sued Novo Nordisk A/S for allegedly making false claims regarding the availability of its insulin drugs in the U.S.
Financial news in other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: Anbang to buy Allianz South Korea biz; Sany-led group sets up commercial bank
Middle East & Africa: The attraction of Africa; M&A activity in the Middle East
Europe: Monte dei Paschi needs more; BankNordik expects less; Deutsche Bank CET1 is set
Latin America: Peru to cut reserve requirements; Cuba's GDP shrinks 0.9%
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.83% to 21,754.74. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.01% to 19,401.72.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.40% to 7,096.70, and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.09% to 931.36.
On the macro front
Redbook and pending home sales index are due out today.