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Zurich, Catalina in $2B transfer; ACA ruled unconstitutional; ProSight eyes IPO


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Zurich, Catalina in $2B transfer; ACA ruled unconstitutional; ProSight eyes IPO

A federal district judge in Texas ruled the entire Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional, siding with a group of 20 Republican state attorneys general in their effort to invalidate the 2010 law. Democratic state attorneys general and Congressional leaders vowed to fight the ruling.

WellCare Health Plans Inc. issued full-year 2019 guidance and reaffirmed its full-year 2018 guidance. For full year 2019, the company expects its adjusted EPS to be in the range of $13.15 to $13.40, and for 2018 WellCare continues to expect its adjusted EPS to be in a range of $10.90 to $11.00.

According to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority's 2018 stress test of 42 European insurers and reinsurers, six insurance companies' capital would fall below requirements if there were a shock upward movement in interest rates, while seven companies would fall short if there were a protracted period of extremely low interest rates.

Insurance program manager ProSight's private equity owners, Goldman Sachs and TPG, are set to float the company in the first half of 2019, The Insurance Insider reported.

Monterey, Calif.-based California Capital Insurance Co. has maxed out its $205 million first-event limit reinsurance program, the Insider reported, adding that the company may look to claim the Northern California Camp fire as two events so as to increase its ability to benefit from reinsurance.

Zurich Insurance Group AG unit Zurich Insurance PLC entered into an agreement with Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries to transfer its pre-2007 U.K. legacy employers' liability policies to Catalina, subject to approvals. The portfolio has gross liabilities of $2 billion.

China Reinsurance (Group) Corp. signed separate memorandums of understanding with China Taiping Insurance Group Ltd. and People's Insurance Co. (Group) of China Ltd. The reinsurer plans to work with the companies in areas such as agricultural and catastrophe protection mechanism, as well as operations related to China's Belt and Road Initiative.

China-based insurance broker Fanhua Insurance Sales Service Group Co. Ltd. signed a framework agreement for strategic cooperation with Ping An Health Insurance Co. of China Ltd.

GBGI Ltd.'s pending acquisition by a private equity vehicle received nearly unanimous shareholder approval.

Kingsway Financial Services Inc.'s shareholders approved the company's plan to change its jurisdiction of incorporation to the state of Delaware from the Canadian province of Ontario.

And BTG Pactual Asset Management closed its acquisition of Lutece Re, a Bermuda-based boutique fund manager that specializes in reinsurance risk, multiple news outlets reported.

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Reinsurers lose ground; Health Insurance Innovations on rollercoaster: The S&P 500 declined 1.26% to 2,599.95, while the SNL U.S. Insurance index fell 0.69% to 1,006.08 for the week ending Dec. 14.

Lloyd's moves to reassure European reinsurance buyers after report of Covéa snub: The London-based insurance market has insisted that European insurers can "safely" continue to buy reinsurance from its syndicates despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Further market disruption likely as central banks return to pre-crisis mode: BIS: The Bank for International Settlements' quarterly review warned of further "bumps in the road" as central banks slim balance sheets and raise interest rates.

Texas ruling shakes ACA law; J&J tanks on talc-related accusations: A federal judge in Texas ruled the entire Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional; and an investigation by Reuters has found that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in its baby powder as early as the 1950s.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: China to share investor identities with Hong Kong; Sri Lanka reinstates PM

Europe: TP Icap sues NEX; BAWAG to buy BFL Leasing; Novo Banco sells NPLs

Middle East & Africa: Access Bank said to acquire Diamond Bank; Moza Banco agrees to buy Banco Terra

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng retreated 0.03% to 26,087.98. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.62% to 21,506.88.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE was down 0.47% to 6,812.80, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.69% to 936.76.

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 Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the Housing Market Index and the Treasury International Capital report are due out today.

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