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Tokio Marine open to more deals; Ping An Insurance's 9-month net profit rises

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.


* Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. remains acquisitive even after announcing a US$3.1 billion deal for high-net-worth insurer Privilege Underwriters Inc., Chris Williams, senior managing executive officer and co-head of international business for Tokio Marine, told S&P Global Market Intelligence. The insurance group will continue to look at the U.S. as it is the biggest insurance market in the world, Williams said. However, the insurer is not limiting itself to just the U.S. and will look at "where it makes the most sense to deploy that capital," he said.

* Beazley PLC is acquiring a 30% stake in Pegasus Underwriting Ltd., a Hong Kong-based coverholder. The company's head of specialty lines said the investment is part of its long-term commitment to the Hong Kong and Chinese markets.

Earnings and guidance

* Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd.'s net profit for the nine months ended Sept. 30 grew 63.2% year over year. Net profit attributable to shareholders for the period came to 129.57 billion yuan, up from 79.40 billion yuan in the prior-year period.

* India's HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd. logged profit after tax and extraordinary items of 3.09 billion rupees for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, an increase from 2.87 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

* China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. forecasts a year-over-year rise in net profit attributable to equity holders for the nine months ended Sept. 30 of between 35.76 billion yuan and 39.74 billion yuan, representing a rise of 180% to 200%.

Taiwan regulator to lower discount rates for savings-type insurance policies; other developments in Taiwanese insurance sector

* Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission will lower the discount rates for savings-type insurance policies, effectively requiring insurers to hold higher reserves against liabilities, the Taipei Times reported, citing Wellington Koo, chairman of the regulator. The new rule is expected to be announced in November, and is set to take effect January 2020, Koo said.

* The FSC fined Farglory Life Insurance Co. Ltd. NT$8.5 million over breaches of corporate governance regulations in real estate development projects, the Taipei Times reported. The insurer had been fined NT$14.4 million for the same corporate governance issues in 2018.

* The IMF warned that Taiwan's insurance sector could face significant pressure should the U.S. interest rate continue to decline, or the U.S dollar depreciates against the New Taiwan dollar given the industry's large investment in U.S. dollar-denominated bonds, the United Daily News reported.

In other news

* Insured losses from Typhoon Hagibis are expected to range from $8 billion to $16 billion, with more than half of those losses due to inland flooding, according to catastrophe risk modeler AIR Worldwide. Hagibis made landfall in Japan on Oct. 12, bringing what the modeling company called "unprecedented rainfall."

* South Korea's Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. will set up a digital nonlife insurance joint venture by the end of 2019 with Kakao Pay Corp., Yonhap News Agency reported. Kakao Pay will reportedly take a controlling interest in the new joint venture

* Dhipaya Life Assurance Public Co. Ltd. plans to go public on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in the fourth quarter, Krungthep Turakij reported.

* Generali Vietnam Life Insurance Co. Ltd. signed a 15-year bancassurance agreement with Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank. Under the agreement, the bank will distribute Generali Vietnam's life and health insurance products.