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Weekly news through May 6

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Weekly news through May 6

S&P Global MarketIntelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more publishedthroughout the week.

Bottom-line

*RSA Insurance GroupPlc's net written premiums for the first quarter year over year to £1.58 billionfrom £1.59 billion. However, CEO Stephen Hester the group may be on track to beatanalysts' 2016 profit forecast.

*AXA's total revenuesfor the first quarter increased on a yearly basis to €31.75 billion from€31.47 billion. New business value margin for the life and savings business inChina, Southeast Asia and India dropped 16 percentage points year over year.

*Chubb Ltd.'s after-taxfirst-quarter operating income roseyear over year to $1.02 billion from $745 million in the same quarter of 2015.Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg added that market conditions in the quarter grewincrementally more competitive across various sectors.

*Allianz Group saw itsfirst-quarter net income attributable to shareholders 20.5% year over year to €2.2billion despite a year-over-year decline in revenues and operating profit.

*Because of the strong depreciation in Latin American currencies, 's first-quarter resultattributable to the controlling company declined year over year to €191.7 million from €201.4million.

*Willis Towers WatsonPlc's first-quarter net income attributable to the company of $238million was down on ayearly basis from pro forma net income of $251 million.

*Direct Line Insurance GroupPlc, which expects a year-over-year rise in first-half costs due toits contribution to the annual Flood Re levy, saw its first-quarter grosswritten premiums from ongoing operations increase year over year to £777.8million from £746.5 million.

Industrywide

*Germany is looking to reduce to 0.9% from 1.25% the maximum interest rate thatlife insurers can guarantee customers.

* AWillis Towers Watson survey showed that life insurers expect a dramatic increase intheir usage of big data and predictive analytics in the next two years.

*Warren Buffett equated U.K.'s potential exit from the European Unionwith Virginia breaking off from the U.S.' original 13 colonies and warned thata Brexit would deal a major blow to the 28-state bloc.

On the deal table

*Standard Life Plcunit Standard Life SavingsLtd. will acquire the entire issued share capital of unit AXA Portfolio ServicesLtd., which trades as Elevate. The deal is expected to close in the secondhalf.

*Arthur J. Gallagher &Co. unit Artex Risk Solutions acquired Quest Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd., an insurancemanagement services provider.

*Piraeus Bank SA isreportedly selling tothe European Bank forReconstruction & Development a 15% stake in , as part of a plan to divest the entirety of Piraeus Bank's 28%stake in the insurance subsidiary.

* Tostrengthen its position in the British workplace savings market, to buy 's U.K. definedcontribution platform and administration business.

In other news

*From May 3, MS AmlinPlc will operate as a single managing agency in the market underthe brand MS Amlin Underwriting Ltd. MS Amlin said there will be no change inits risk appetite or current line capacities before 2016-end.

Featured during the week onS&P Global Market Intelligence

The Chubb CEO said hewelcomes the new competition in a business his company had substantiallyconsolidated, and he sees plenty of opportunities for organic expansion as itseeks to "attack" potential business currently serviced by standardcarriers.