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CBL Insurance criminal charges; China Life Reinsurance unit starts HK operations

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.

CBL Insurance woes, other regulatory updates

* The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office filed criminal charges in relation to CBL Insurance Ltd. and associated entities. The charges were filed after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the central bank into the company.

* The Central Bank of Ireland has ordered CBL Corp. Ltd. unit CBL Insurance Europe DAC to cease making claims payments due to its "deteriorating financial position."

* The Hong Kong Insurance Authority has authorized China Life Reinsurance Co. Ltd. unit China Reinsurance (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd. to carry out insurance business in or from Hong Kong.

* A bill has been filed in the Philippines' House of Representatives seeking to double the current 500,000 Philippine pesos worth of bank deposit insurance to 1 million pesos that will be covered by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., The Philippine Star reported.

* South Korea's Financial Services Commission has called on insurance companies to restructure their assets and liabilities while bolstering their capital base ahead of the introduction of tougher global accounting standards for insurers, The Korea Herald reported.

M&A corner

* The Competition Commission of India approved the acquisition of a 26% stake in SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd. by Honey Wheat Investment Ltd. and Napean Opportunities LLP, The Economic Times reported.

* Yunfeng Financial International Holdings Ltd. agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of YUVAN Ltd., a holding company whose sole significant asset is a 9.8% stake in YF Life Insurance International Ltd.

* China Cinda Asset Management Co. Ltd. has sold its entire 50.995% stake in life and health insurance subsidiary Happy Life Insurance Co. Ltd. for 7.5 billion yuan.

* Tower Ltd. obtained approval from the New Zealand central bank to acquire Youi NZ Pty Ltd.'s insurance portfolio.

In other news

* New Zealand plans to introduce a deposit insurance scheme and expand the central bank's remit to monitor lenders and hold their directors and executives more accountable for misdeeds as part of the second phase of its review of the Reserve Bank Act.

* A committee investigating Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. said the number of improperly sold policies by the insurer has reached 12,836, of which 670 involved violations of the law or internal rules, Reuters reported.

* QBE Insurance Group Ltd.'s North American crop insurance business is expected to report claims of about 107% to 109% on net earned premium of nearly A$1.2 billion in 2019 due to adverse weather conditions.

* Great Eastern Holdings Ltd. signed a strategic partnership with Axiata Digital Capital to provide insurance and Islamic insurance, or takaful, products across Malaysia and Indonesia.