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Alphabet backs health start-up; Berkshire ups Goldman stake; Anbang shops Vivat


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Alphabet backs health start-up; Berkshire ups Goldman stake; Anbang shops Vivat

Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. once again extended their merger agreement's deadline, this time to Dec. 1 from Aug. 15.

China's Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. approached a number of international investment banks to submit possible sale proposals for Netherlands-based subsidiary Vivat NV, De Telegraaf reported. There is no deadline set for the sale process.

During the second quarter, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. increased its stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc., U.S. Bancorp and Bank of New York Mellon Corp., but trimmed its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co.. It also increased its Apple Inc. stake by about 5%.

This year is likely to become the 11th straight year in which damage from severe storms exceeds $10 billion in the U.S., with 70% of that coming from hail, The Associated Press reported, citing experts at a conference hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Growing population and climate change will likely make hailstorms worse.

Insurance-linked securitization has "transformed" the reinsurance market, according to a report from S&P Global Ratings. The share of alternative capital deployed in collateralized reinsurance has risen steadily, according to the report, which projected that this trend will continue, although it also noted that first-half 2018 catastrophe bond issuance exceeded the full-year total in every prior year except 2017.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Lloyd's Market Association revealed that 80% of Lloyd's of London managing agents who responded would like to see ILS products become a permanent fixture in the re/insurance market.

U.K.-based Admiral Group PLC reported an year-over-increase in first-half profit earlier today. Insurance Australia Group Ltd. reported lower earnings, and Bermuda-based Syncora Holdings Ltd.'s operating loss widened.

Alphabet Inc. is investing $375 million in startup Oscar Health, Bloomberg News reported. The funds will help support Oscar's planned 2020 entry into the market for privately administered health insurance plans for seniors.

Customer-owned, Chicago-based health insurer Health Care Service Corp. will cease reimbursing for injections of amniotic-tissue products made by MiMedx Group Inc. and other manufacturers because they are "experimental, investigational and/or unproven for all indications," The Wall Street Journal reported. The products are touted as helping with hair loss, erectile dysfunction, knee pain and osteoarthritis.

Apollo Global Management LLC formed Acra Re Ltd., a Bermuda-based reinsurance vehicle listed as a class 3A and class C insurer with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, The Insurance Insider reported.

WellCare Health Plans Inc. completed an offering of $750 million of 5.375% senior notes due Aug. 15, 2026.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Bain ownership will allow Esure to expand digital capacities, insurer's CEO says: Interim CEO Darren Ogden told S&P Global Market Intelligence that being taken private will allow Esure to step up its investments in and use of technology such as artificial intelligence to carry out loss estimates from pictures.

D&O litigation digest: Tesla, Facebook facing shareholder lawsuits: Elon Musk's Aug. 7 tweet about taking Tesla private prompted a plaintiff to file a class-action lawsuit alleging price manipulation, while Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were named in a lawsuit claiming that the company failed to disclose the true state of revenues and operating metrics.

GSK, J&J's monthly HIV jab passes trial; Express Scripts in gene therapy bid: GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson's HIV combination therapy showed positive early results in a phase 3 study; and Express Scripts is in talks with three gene therapy makers to exclusively distribute their new million-dollar hemophilia drugs.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Anbang eyes Dutch unit sale; India's Cosmos Bank hacked; IAG posts FY'18 results

Europe: RBS finalizes $4.9B US settlement; VTB buys majority stake in Vozrozhdenie

Middle East and Africa: Bank Leumi Q2 income up YOY; Ghana to prosecute execs of collapsed banks

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.55% to 27,323.59, and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.68% to 22,204,22.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.87% to 7,544.43, and the Euronext 100 slipped 0.58% to 1,055.11.

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 MBA mortgage applications report, the retail sales report, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the productivity and costs report, the industrial production report, the Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations report, the business inventories report, the housing market index, the EIA petroleum status report and the treasury international capital report are due out today.

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S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.