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Dallas tornado insured damages pegged at $2B; Aon earnings; Axa deal

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Dallas tornado insured damages pegged at $2B; Aon earnings; Axa deal

The Insurance Council of Texas has estimated insured damages of $2 billion after a confirmed nine tornadoes touched down in and around Dallas County. This makes the Oct. 20 "tornado outbreak" the most expensive tornado event in Texas history, the council added. Preliminary projected estimates include over 30,000 auto and home claims; commercial and business claims projections are still coming in and the financial impact is likely to rise.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. CEO J. Patrick Gallagher Jr. said the market is "getting firmer," but conditions are not comparable to the last truly hard market in 2001 and 2002. "This is not a hard market," he emphasized on a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings. Gallagher said there is still plenty of capacity and deals are getting done.

Axa SA agreed to sell its Belgian banking operations, Axa Bank Belgium, to Crelan Bank for about €620 million. The purchase price consists of a total cash consideration of €540 million and the transfer to Axa Belgium of 100% of Crelan Insurance, which is valued at €80 million. Axa and Crelan have also agreed to enter into a long-term insurance distribution partnership.

Aon PLC's third-quarter net income attributable to shareholders rose 51% to $222 million, or 93 cents per share, from $147 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier. Total revenue increased year over year to $2.38 billion from $2.35 billion. The rise was driven by 5% organic revenue growth.

Click here for a recap of yesterday's earnings.

Beazley PLC is acquiring a 30% stake in Pegasus Underwriting Ltd., a Hong Kong-based coverholder.

Targeting of IT vendors by cybercriminals contributed to a 37% increase in reported ransomware incidents in the third quarter compared to the prior three months, Beazley said in a new report. Of the ransomware incidents reported during the most recent quarter to Beazley's breach response team, 24% were confirmed to be caused by a vendor or managed service provider.

Finland-based Sampo Oyj is no longer placing an emphasis on annually increasing its nominal dividend per share, "with government bond yields expected to remain negative for some time to come," President and Group CEO Kari Stadigh said.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation disapproved the National Council on Compensation Insurance's proposal for a 5.4% statewide rate decrease in workers' comp rates for 2020.

The head of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has called for more transparency in the risks related to nonbanking investments, to ensure people receive "clear meaningful" disclosures when making investment decisions.

The Insurance Council of Australia rejected commentary that parts of the country will inevitably become uninsurable or unaffordable due to climate change. It said these claims fail to recognize that mitigation and adaptation can prevent some of the worst impacts of extreme weather. "No area of Australia should be uninsurable," the council stressed.

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CEO's venture to buy back the insurer he founded takes controversial turn: In trying to push through a planned acquisition of a group of workers' compensation insurance companies that he founded, Applied Underwriters CEO Steve Menzies opted for a controversial workaround.

Available retrocession cover will come down but not 'crunch,' execs say: Record catastrophe years in 2017 and 2018 and a pullback from the ILS market could pinch reinsurers, but only so much, because higher prices would draw more capacity.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Postal Bank gets nod for China IPO; Bank of Japan flags risks from global cycle

Europe: Barclays' Q3 loss; Commerzbank plan concern; Bank J. Safra Sarasin criminal case

Middle East & Africa: NCB, First Abu Dhabi post higher profits; Angola ups bank cash reserve ratio

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.49% to 26,667.39, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.22% to 22,799.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,287.66, and the Euronext 100 down 0.45% to 1,094.03.

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 consumer sentiment report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the Treasury budget are due out today.

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