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New York Life/Cigna talks; Prudential Financial caution; Axis Capital COO out

New York Life Insurance Co. is in talks to acquire Cigna Corp.'s nonhealth benefits unit in a deal that could value the subsidiary at up to $6 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Other possible buyers include MetLife Inc. and Sun Life Financial Inc.

American International Group Inc.'s pending sale of a majority of its holdings in Fortitude Reinsurance Co. Ltd. signals an end to the company's legacy life and annuity segment. The transaction would leave AIG with 3.5% ownership in the reinsurer, resulting in its legacy segment dwindling to a "de minimis amount," according to President and CEO Brian Duperreault.

Prudential Financial Inc. is "a little cautious" about the longer-term pipeline of its pension risk transfer business as funding for pension plans significantly fell due to lower interest rates, Vice Chairman Robert Falzon said.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association plans to ask for approval from the state's insurance regulator to implement a $90 million assessment for losses due to Hurricane Harvey.

Tremor, a marketplace for insurance and reinsurance risk transfer, helped W. R. Berkley Corp. price and place the renewal of its 2020 property catastrophe program. More than 50 reinsurers participated with $600 million of capacity made available by Tremor for the renewal.

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. COO Richard Strachan resigned Dec. 4 and will stay in a transitional role through January 2020.

Bruce Kelley will retire as president and treasurer of EMC Insurance Cos. on Jan. 3, 2020, and as CEO, effective March 11, 2020.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier was voted president-elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Customers affected by the insolvency of tour operator Thomas Cook will receive financial assistance from the German government because the company's insurance policy is insufficient, Reuters reported.

Liberty Specialty Markets Ltd. will stop writing energy and construction liability in London amid challenging market conditions, such as elevating social inflation and worsening loss experience, The Insurance Insider reported.

Monument Re Ltd. is acquiring Ireland-domiciled life insurer Cattolica Life DAC from Società Cattolica di Assicurazione.

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd., which trades as LV=, announced the resignation of CEO and board member Richard Rowney, who will leave the company Dec. 31, 2019.

Germany-based insurtech wefox Group raised an additional $110 million in its series B funding round, increasing its haul to $235 million. The additional investment was led by OMERS Ventures, with participation from Merian Chrysalis, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Mundi Ventures and existing investors.

And insurance-focused law firm Clyde & Co. named former Lloyd's of London CEO Inga Beale an independent member of its management board, with a focus on diversity and inclusion strategies, The Insurance Insider reported.

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Wells Fargo continues to pare down insurance operations, makes another sale: The bank is disposing of a credit insurance affiliate of its former consumer finance business in a deal that is more symbolic of broader trends than financially substantive.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: China scraps insurance JV ownership limits; Philippines probes Westpac

Europe: Credit Suisse cuts key target; HSBC's Swiss unit fined; UBS suffers court defeat

Middle East & Africa: QNB names CEO; Fitch downgrades HSBC's UAE unit; Tunisian insurer plots IPO

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.79% to 26,645.43, while the Nikkei 225 ticked 0.08% lower to 23,391.86.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 lost 0.08% to 7,208.31, and the Euronext 100 went down 0.21% to 1,120.01.

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 U.S. Consumer Price Index, the quarterly services survey, the Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration Petroleum Status Report, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting announcement and the Treasury budget are due out today.

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