Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science now expects six hurricanes to form during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, up from five previously. It also now believes that 2019 will have approximately average activity, and that there remains considerable uncertainty as to whether El Niño conditions will persist through the Atlantic hurricane season. The department continues to anticipate 13 named storms and two major hurricanes.
S&P Global Ratings described the current global reinsurance pricing environment as a "hardening market," which is a promising sign for the rest of 2019 for global reinsurers. The rating agency noted that reinsurers saw property catastrophe rate increases in the range of 15% to 25% on loss-affected accounts during April and June renewals following "disappointing" reinsurance pricing increases in 2018 and early 2019.
United Insurance Holdings Corp. raised its total catastrophe reinsurance limit to $4.0 billion, up 8.1% from the $3.7 billion of total limit it purchased for last year's programs. The company also purchased more than $3.2 billion of multi-event cascading limit for several subsidiaries. The renewed catastrophe reinsurance programs include about $2.5 billion of total open market catastrophe reinsurance limit that will provide coverage for named or numbered windstorms and earthquakes.
American International Group Inc. appointed David McElroy president and CEO of the North American operations of general insurance. Lou Levinson succeeds McElroy as president and CEO of Lexington Insurance Co.
Tom Stoddard will step down as CFO of Aviva PLC on June 30 as he considers "new opportunities." Jason Windsor, CFO of Aviva UK Insurance, will become interim CFO on July 1.
Lloyd's of London is contemplating a debt raise to fund a strategic transformation plan that would charge market participants using a pay-per-use model, The Insurance Insider reported, citing unnamed sources. Users could be charged each time they used central Lloyd's services such as its data and research ecosystem and its IT platforms, although alternative financing methods are still under consideration, the Insider said.
Axa is selling another 40 million common shares of Axa Equitable Holdings Inc. through a registered public offering.
Europe's commercial insurance buyers are facing higher prices and less cover in some lines of business, Aon PLC has warned. The broker said in a new report that insurers were reassessing their business models in light of "unprecedented" loss levels — including the 2017 and 2018 natural catastrophes and a spate of man-made claims — as well as changing buyer demands and risk exposures, reinsurance pressures and higher costs of doing business.
While the world's largest companies are expecting to take an almost $1 trillion hit from risks related to climate change, they also see business opportunities worth double that amount from the transition to a low-carbon economy, according to a report released June 4. However, the report's authors said companies may not be taking a global view of the risks posed by climate change in the coming years.
Mutual marine liability insurer The Shipowners' Club provides protection and indemnity cover for the Viking Sigyn cruise ship involved in a fatal collision on the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary, on June 29, the Insider also reported.
Markel CATCo Investment Management Ltd. intends to increase the specific loss reserves held by the CATCo Reinsurance Opportunities Fund Ltd. related to the ordinary shares and C shares for 2017 and 2018 loss events. The company said the increase in the cedant loss reserves shown in its first-quarter cedant loss reports was mostly due to the development on both Typhoon Jebi and Hurricane Michael.
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Athene, Blackstone, Buffett seen among possible reinsurers of LTC liabilities: The number of reinsurers with interest in acquiring legacy long-term care liabilities currently stands at 1.5, according to an industry executive. But he expressed hope that new players will soon emerge.
D&O litigation digest: Brazil sues tobacco giants; Icahn takes on Occidental: The former chairman and CEO of Sears is suing the distressed retailer's estate, and McDonald's is apparently facing litigation related to alleged inappropriate conduct at its restaurants.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: Bank of China begins India operations; Volt Bank eyes ASX listing
Europe: Aviva CFO resigns; Santander to cut UK jobs; BPER to raise up to €322M
Middle East & Africa: Attijariwafa Q1 profit up; rand falls as South Africa suffers economic slump
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, Hang Seng increased 0.50% to 26,895.44, while the Nikkei 225 gained 1.80% to 20,776.10.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 went up 0.59% to 7,256.51, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.77% to 1,037.96.
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 U.S. ADP employment report, the U.S. services purchasing managers' index, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index, the U.S. Energy Information Administration petroleum status report and the U.S. Beige Book are due out today.
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