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Weekly news through April 28

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Weekly news through April 28

This weekly article offers acompilation of noteworthy stories on insurance companies in the Asia-Pacificregion. Some items may be linked to third-party articles.

KB Financial to skip ING LifeInsurance Korea bidding:KB Financial GroupInc. is not interested in pursuing an acquisition of aftersigning a deal to acquire a controlling stake in earlier inApril.

LeeDong-cheol, chief strategic officer of KB Financial, said the company does notcurrently have enough capacity to take on another acquisition. KB Financialagreed to pay 1.250 trillion won for the Hyundai Securities stake.

Lee'scomments came after MBK PartnersLtd. reportedly started the sales process for its 100% stake in INGLife. KB Financial, along with Anbang Insurance Group Co. and , were seen as strong candidates for the stake.

Other M&A updates: Australia's completed theacquisition of London-based JohnHolman & Sons (Holdings) Ltd. through its unit

Thepurchase price was £2.5 million plus net assets. Following thecompletion, John Holman & Sons will be merged with the units of InsuranceHoldings.

also the acquisition ofadditional shares in its Indian insurance joint venture Thepurchase raised AIA Group's stake in the joint venture to 49% from 26%.

Meanwhile,Singapore-based Asia CapitalReinsurance Group Pte. Ltd. was reportedly placed on the , with an askingprice of more than US$1 billion. Chinese and western strategic bidders are saidto have expressed interest.

Moreover,China's Anbang Insurance has turned its attention to and is looking for potentialdeals in the country. The insurer is said to be in talks with local investmentbankers for possible takeover targets.

Japanese insurers continue todiversify investment portfolio: Insurance companies in Japan continue to look outwards forinvestments after Bank of Japan introduced its negative interest policy.

will invest ¥50 billion in foreign risk assets and willcontinue lower its domestic stock holdings as it seeks to cut domestic exposureby ¥500 billion in four years. The insurer will also invest about ¥80 billionin corporate bonds and 20-year and 30-year government bonds in the fiscal yearending March 31, 2017.

unitTokio Marine & Nichido FireInsurance Co. Ltd. is looking to increase currency-hedged foreign bonds by ¥50 billion to¥100 billion before the end of the fiscal year. It also aims to invest asizable amount in U.S. and European corporate bonds and cut domestic stockholdings.

Inaddition, Dai-ichi Life InsuranceCo. Ltd. plans to adjust its investment mix in fiscal 2016-2017. Theinsurer intends to finance aircraft and logistic facilities, as well asincrease investment in currency-hedged foreign bonds and infrastructure.

The following is a breakdownof articles by region, based on the geographic origins of stories.

EAST ASIA

*Property insurance payout for the recent Kumamoto Prefecture quakes in Japancould surpass the¥78.3 billion insurers paid out in the aftermath of the January 1995 earthquakein the Kobe area, according to data from the General Insurance Association ofJapan. The Kobe earthquake resulted in the second-highest property insurancepayout for a natural disaster in Japan.

*Ping An Insurance (Group) posted a 3.7% year-over-year increase in net profit for the first quarter. Theinsurer's consolidated net profit attributable to owners rose to 20.70 billionyuan from 19.96 billion yuan in the prior-year period.

*AIA Group reported a 44% year-over-year increase in value of new business for the first quarterended Feb. 29. The value of new business for the quarter stood at US$578million, up from US$425 million.

*China Taiping Insurance HoldingsCo. Ltd. agreed to set up a joint venture that will engage in Internet healthinsurance operations. TaipingLife Insurance Co. Ltd., a unit of the company, Alibaba (China)Technology Co. Ltd., Alibaba Health Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd. and severalother Chinese companies will hold a stake in the joint venture.

*South Korea's Allianz LifeInsurance Co. Ltd. will lay off 200 employees though a voluntary retirementprogram. The move comes after its parent Allianz Group agreed to sell the unit to AnbangInsurance.

SOUTH ASIA

*HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co.Ltd. signed a partnership agreement with , underwhich the latter will distribute HDFC Standard Life's products to its customers.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

*Great Eastern HoldingsLtd.'s first-quarter net profit declined 56% year over year to S$96.9 million fromS$220.5 million. The company attributed the decline mainly to unrealized fairvalue losses from the valuation of assets and liabilities in the insurancebusiness.

*Following its earnings release, Great Eastern Holdings said CFO Tony Cheongresigned to take onanother position at a multinational firm.

*Allianz Life Insurance MalaysiaBhd. named Joseph Gross as its new CEO. Meanwhile, its final dividend for2015 to 6.50 sen per share from 5 sen per share in the year prior.

Featured on S&P GlobalMarket Intelligence

: Assumed premiums fell in dollar termsfor the top six global reinsurers in 2015, according to SNL Financial data,although the declining euro played a significant role in that trend. Overallthe top 15 was little changed during the year, with only one new entrant,Chubb Ltd., whichclimbed to the 13th spot following its merger with ACE Ltd.