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Voya held sale talks; 2019 was second-wettest for US; Suncorp bushfire claims


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Voya held sale talks; 2019 was second-wettest for US; Suncorp bushfire claims

Voya Financial Inc. held sale talks in late 2019 with, among others, American International Group Inc., Principal Financial Group Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc., sources told the Financial Times. Although the talks did not result in a deal, the Voya board remains open to a possible transaction and could revisit the topic this year.

The year 2019 was the second-wettest on record for the U.S., easing droughts in some areas even as severe inland flooding across other regions caused about $20 billion in damage, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration figures. The U.S. experienced 14 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each and totaling approximately $45 billion.

Australia's Suncorp Group Ltd. said it has received more than 2,600 bushfire-related claims since September 2019 with a total estimated cost of between A$315 million and A$345 million. The company is still assessing the bushfires' impact on its reinsurance program.

New Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. CEO Hiroya Masuda said he aims to "forge a solid footing" for the company following a scandal involving the selling of improper life insurance products, Bloomberg News reported. He added during a Thursday news conference that Japan Post "would lose investors' trust if we talk about dreams" of expanding the business.

Intact Financial Corp. is expecting catastrophe losses of about C$115 million pretax, or 60 Canadian cents per share after tax, for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Beazley PLC is looking for additional catastrophe cover for cyber events through a capital market-backed reinsurance product jointly launched with RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.

A catastrophe bond with an initial size of $100 million was launched to cover certain primary insurance tail risks that were underwritten by and for Nephila Capital Ltd., Artemis reported.

Tokio Marine Kiln Group Ltd. is the lead insurer in an aviation war policy for a Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, The Insurance Insider reported. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. brokered the all-risks policy, according to the report.

Generali completed the acquisition of Portugal-based insurer Seguradoras Unidas SA and service company AdvanceCare - Gestão de Serviços de Saúde SA.

Gossmann & Cie. announced the acquisition of Hamburg-based Schwarzmeer-und Ostseeversicherungs-AG, or SOVAG, via its holding company, Minerva Capital GmbH.

Boston-headquartered national wholesale insurance broker and program manager One80 Intermediaries formally launched operations.

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Could the basis risk 'bogeyman' threaten the rise of parametric insurance?: The mismatch between payment and incurred losses can be troublesome, but specialists argue that basis risk is more a feature of parametric products than a bug.

Equities, real estate won big in the decade of 'risk-on': Ultra-loose monetary policy spurred riskier assets in the last decade, as equities and real estate flourished. While the slow down in China and lack of fiscal stimulus elsewhere resulted in a commodities slump.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: China drafts financial leasing rules; India may raise rating agencies' fine

Europe: Julius Bär faces €335M claim; new ABN Amro CEO; Santander pumps money into unit

Middle East & Africa: Bank Hapoalim to ax more than 900 jobs by 2022; Mubadala cuts stake in UniCredit

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased by 1.68% to 28,561.00, while the Nikkei 225 was up 2.31% to 23,739.87.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.55% to 7,616.24, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.49% to 1,161.09.

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 jobless claims report, EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

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