S&P Global MarketIntelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more publishedthroughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links tothird-party sources that may require a subscription.
Sompo Holdingsembarks on its biggest deal to date
* SompoHoldings Inc. agreed to acquire 100% of Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. for approximately US$6.30billion.
* The sale of Endurance marks another relatively large deal conducted by aJapanese company that was done at a premium to book value. The price that Sompois paying represents about 1.4x Endurance's book value, according to S&PGlobal Market Intelligence calculations.
* The deal will also strengthen the Japanese insurer's deep roots in the U.S.market. U.S.-domiciled subsidiaries of Endurance combined to hold net admittedassets of $4.74 billion and policyholders' surplus of $784.3 million as of June30.
* Sompo is looking to grow earnings by shifting resources toward its overseasbusiness. The acquisition of Endurance is expected to contribute about ¥40billion to net profit in fiscal 2018, Sompo Group CFO Shinji Tsuji said duringa call discussing the deal.
* Endurance will pay Sompo a fee of US$204.9 million if itsboard changes its recommendation of the companies' merger or if Enduranceagrees to another acquisition offer.
* S&P Global Ratings affirmed the ratings of Sompo's subsidiaries followingthe company's announcement that it would acquire Endurance. Moody's alsoaffirmed the ratingsof Sompo unit Sompo JapanNipponkoa Insurance Inc. following the acquisition announcement.
Other M&A deals
* NationalAustralia Bank Ltd. completed the sale of an 80% stake in its life insurancebusiness to Nippon Life InsuranceCo. for A$2.4 billion. As part of the deal, National Australia Bankon the same day commenced a long-term partnership with Nippon Life, whichincludes a 20-year bancassurance agreement.
* Spain's MAPFRE SA agreed to acquire an additional 31% stake in Indonesian insurerPT. Asuransi Bina Dana ArtaTbk. MAPFRE's stake will increase to 51% from 20%.
* FairfaxFinancial Holdings Ltd. unit Fairfax Asia Ltd. its acquisition of SriLanka-based Asian Alliance General Insurance Ltd. from .
* XL Catlin completed its acquisition of Australia-based Brooklyn Underwriting PtyLtd. and Brooklyn IT Pty Ltd.
* Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings Co. Ltd. and ShenzhenInvestment Holdings Co. Ltd. will acquire Singapore's ACR Capital Holdings Pte. Ltd., theparent of Asia CapitalReinsurance Group Pte. Ltd. ACR Capital'smajor shareholders approved the proposed sale.
In other news
* Myanmar's Kanbawza Bank Ltd. plans to list its insurance arm on the Yangon StockExchange as early as the end of 2017.
* Chinese internet insurer Zhong An Online Property andCasualty Insurance is looking to raise approximately US$2 billion in a Hong Kong IPO in2017.
* AXA and Allianz SE reportedly reached the second round of bidding for abancassurance deal with StandardChartered Plc that would grant exclusive access to the U.K.-basedbanking group's branches in Asia.
* The Insurance Council of New Zealand Youi Pty Ltd. NZ$100,000 for defrauding customers butrefrained from terminating its membership due to its apology to the affectedcustomers. The council warned the insurer could face membership termination forany future misconduct.
* Dai-ichi LifeHoldings Inc. completed its transition into a holding companystructure. With the completion of the transition, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.Ltd. became Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc.
* The Supreme Court of Korea in favor of in acase involving the payment of insurance benefits in controversial suicidecases.
* Sun LifeFinancial Inc. is consideringacquisition opportunities, as well as building up its own presence, inSingapore and Thailand.
* Industry-wide insured losses from Typhoon Meranti, which hit Taiwan and Chinain September, will likely range between US$650 million and US$1.15 billion,according to AIR Worldwide.
* BerkshireHathaway Specialty Insurance Co. obtained a license to offer insurance and reinsurance inMacau.
* Osaka CityShinkin Bank and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. a memorandum of understanding tosupport their customers' overseas expansion.
Featured on S&PGlobal Market Intelligence
T&DHoldings' focus on senior market not a long-term panacea, analystssay: T&D HoldingsInc.'s three-year plan to focus on insurance sales to the seniorpopulation is an apt survival strategy in Japan's aging society in the shortterm, but the life insurer may ultimately need to expand overseas to grow amidtough competition in a shrinking domestic market, according to analysts.
Mizuho/Dai-ichi JV sees great potential in Japanese individuals'wealth: An asset management joint venture between andDai-ichi Life Insurance Co.Ltd., Asset Management One, is looking to tap into the roughly¥1,700 trillion worth of wealth held by Japanese individuals. Nobuhiko Hoga,senior vice president of asset management coordination at Mizuho, spoke withS&P Global Market Intelligence in Tokyo about the joint venture company'sstrategy.
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