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Cyber concerns top Allianz's risk rankings; Arthur J. Gallagher buys Capsicum Re

S&P Global Market Intelligence offer our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.

Cyber concerns top Allianz's annual ranking of global business risks

Cyber incidents topped Allianz Group's annual ranking of global business risks for the first time in 2020. The insurer surveyed 2,718 risk management specialists to compile the Allianz Risk Barometer report and found cyber to rank as the biggest risk to business.


* U.S.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. on Jan. 1 increased its interest in Capsicum Reinsurance Brokers LLP from 33% to 100%.

* Axa XL merged Axa Corporate Solutions and Axa Art into Irish insurer XL Insurance Co. SE, effective Dec. 31, 2019.

Operations and strategy

* Liberty Insurance Corp. is exiting its commercial liability, commercial property and development bonds lines of business in Ireland, effective April 1.

* China-based Fosun International Ltd. is considering a potential sale, among other options, of its Germany-based insurance business, Frankfurter Leben Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Bloomberg News reported.

* MS Amlin Ltd. launched David Ashby Underwriting Ltd., a specialist equine managing general agency.

* Dutch insurer Aegon NV will gradually reduce its coal investments over the course of the decade.

* Ageas SA/NV expects to recognize a noncash gain on debt extinguishment, net of unwinding of the associated interest rate swap, of around €306 million in the first quarter. The gain is associated with a recent tender offer, under which subsidiary Ageasfinlux S.A. accepted for repurchase about €818.8 million of the floating-rate equity-linked subordinated hybrid, or FRESH, capital securities.

In other news

* British insurance and reinsurance marketplace Lloyd's of London's performance management director, Jon Hancock, will step down in 2020.

* Chubb Ltd. disclosed net catastrophe loss estimates of $430 million pretax, or $353 million after tax, for the fourth quarter of 2019.

* The size of Hannover Re-sponsored international multiperil 3264 Re Ltd. series 2020-1 catastrophe bond is expected to grow by 50% to $150 million from $100 million, Artemis reported.

* Grupo Catalana Occidente SA signed a liquidity contract with GVC Gaesco Beka Sociedad de Valores SA to improve the liquidity and the regularity of the Spanish insurer's shares.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Australia's largest insurers brace for greater bushfire severity as claims grow: The estimated total of insured losses from the ongoing Australian bushfires sits at A$1.34 billion.

Insurers, reinsurers were choosy about their partners at Jan. 1, says Aon: On the property side, reinsurers targeted certain programs more than others, while insurers chose their reinsurers more carefully at the key renewals date, according to Aon's report.