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HII revises guidance; Cigna-Express Scripts completed; hail hits Aussie insurers

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HII revises guidance; Cigna-Express Scripts completed; hail hits Aussie insurers

The Insurance Council of Australia declared a catastrophe after a storm that resulted in extensive hail and water damage across Sydney and the Central Coast last night. As of this afternoon, insurers had received over 25,000 claims with losses of over A$125 million, which is expected to increase sharply as more claims are received.

Suncorp Group Ltd. said it had received 7,800 claims but that it was too early to estimate the scale of the likely payout. It noted that it has reinsurance in place limiting its overall loss to A$250 million, as well as an aggregate natural hazard cover of A$300 million that kicks in after it records A$504 million of total losses.

Insurance Australia Group Ltd. said the scale of claims so far indicates that the pretax cost of the storm's will be in line with its A$169 million first-event retention after quota share, and it also said it expects the storm to fully erode its reinsurance deductible, meaning that any future losses in 2018 will be capped at A$17 million per event.

Health Insurance Innovations Inc. revised its full-year 2018 guidance in light of a new accounting standard that goes into effect at year-end. Revenue for the year is projected to be $315 million to $330 million, adjusted EBITDA is expected to be $67 million to $72 million and adjusted EPS is estimated to be $2.95 to $3.15.

Cigna Corp. completed its acquisition of Express Scripts Holding Co.

FWD Life Insurance Co. (Bermuda) Ltd. is buying the 49% stake in HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Bhd. that HSBC Holdings PLC holds through HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Ltd., The Edge Markets reported. Malaysia's central bank has approved the proposed deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Hong Kong conglomerate Chow Tai Fook is in exclusive talks to acquire FTLife Insurance Co. Ltd. from investment firm JD Capital in a deal that could be worth almost US$3 billion, sources told Bloomberg News.

Italian insurer Generali closed the transfer of the nonlife legacy portfolio of its U.K. branch to London-based Compre Holdings Ltd.

Specialty insurance managing general agent Nexus Group acquired Hiscox Global Flying through an asset purchase into Millstream Underwriting Ltd., a London-based Nexus Group company.

LM Funding America signed a letter of intent to acquire all of the outstanding shares of insurance broker IIU Inc. from Craven House Capital PLC for about $6 million.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2019, Lloyd's of London said it will require syndicates to write no less than 40% of risks using a recognized electronic placement system, with the target increasing to 50% in the second quarter. Brokers on the insurance market's system will have to connect to a system by June 1, 2019, Lloyd's added.

The Maritime and Commercial High Court in Denmark declared Qudos Insurance A/S bankrupt. The Central Bank of Ireland said existing policies are still in force, but will automatically cancel three months from the date of the bankruptcy.

The Central Bank of Ireland reprimanded and imposed a €3.5 million penalty on RSA Insurance Ireland DAC. for regulatory breaches related to large loss claims and accounting irregularities from 2009 to October 2013.

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Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg top choices for post-Brexit EU financial business: Chart Watch: Each of the three countries has attracted interest from at least 18 firms, amid concerns about future access to EU markets after Brexit.

Group life weakness drags total life premiums down YOY through Q3: U.S. insurers' total life insurance premiums declined 0.2% year over year during the first nine months of 2018. Individual premiums increased by 1.5%, but group premiums were down 6.1%.

Insurance pricing uncertainty persists in wake of California wildfires: The second year of devastating California wildfires may have an impact on retrocession, reinsurance and primary insurers' pricing.

US FDA's cannabis plan; Departing senator cautions against Trump's drug policy: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering legalizing sales of some cannabis products in food and drinks; and retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch urged his colleagues to oppose Trump's idea of testing an international pricing index model for drugs.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: HSBC Australia names new head of retail; Taiwan holds rate steady

Europe: New bond market scandal; Danske profit warning; Russia's VTB hacked

Middle East & Africa: Saudi banks settle Islamic tax dispute; Qatar ups key rate; Fitch affirms Angola

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 51% to 25,753.42, while the Nikkei 225 was down 1.11% to 20,166.19.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.27% to 6,693.58, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.52% to 905.98.

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 Durable Goods Orders report, the Gross Domestic Product report, the Corporate Profits report, the Personal Income and Outlays report, the Consumer Sentiment report, the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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