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Suncorp flags high hailstorm costs; China Reinsurance acquires UK-based insurer

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.

M&A corner

* China Reinsurance (Group) Corp. completed the acquisition of Hanover Insurance International Holdings Ltd. from Hanover Insurance Group Inc. Hanover Insurance International became a subsidiary of China Reinsurance following the completion.

* Malaysia's MAA Group Bhd. said unit Columbus Capital Singapore Pte Ltd. completed the sale of its 47.95% stake in Australia-based Columbus Capital Pty Ltd. to Consortia Group Holdings Pty Ltd.

* Itlay-based Generali has completed a transaction that increases its stakes in a pair of India-based joint ventures to 49% from 25.5%.

* Life Insurance Corp. of India acquired a 29.41% stake in IDBI Bank Ltd. through a preferential allotment of equity shares. The transaction raised LIC's stake in the bank to 44.31% from 14.90%.

* U.S.-based Aflac Inc. has made a $20 million minority equity investment in Singapore-based life insurance company, Singapore Life Pte. Ltd.

Partnerships and agreements

* India's Allahabad Bank and SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. signed a bancassurance agreement to sell the insurer's policies through the bank's branches.

* SBI Life Insurance also signed a bancassurance partnership with Syndicate Bank Ltd. Under the partnership, Syndicate Bank will offer the insurer's protection, wealth creation and savings insurance products to its customers.

* Bao Viet Holdings subsidiary Bao Viet Insurance Corp. and Saigon - Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank entered into an agreement to cooperate on bancassurance and providing banking services for the insurer's staff.

In other news

* Suncorp Group Ltd. said total claim costs from the hailstorms that hit the Sydney, Central Coast and South East Queensland regions in December 2018 are expected to surpass the maximum first event retention within its reinsurance program.

* Insurance Australia Group Ltd. has finalized its catastrophe reinsurance program for 2019. The program provides gross reinsurance protection of up to A$9 billion, an increase from A$8 billion in 2018.

* ABL Life Insurance Co. Ltd. launched a new wholly owned subsidiary specializing in insurance sales in South Korea. The new unit, which is called ABA Financial Services Co. Ltd., has a paid-up capital of 7 billion won

* Allianz Malaysia Bhd. declared an interim dividend of 40 Malaysian sen per share for full-year 2018, up from 12 sen per share for 2017.

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