S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.
* Perils AG said its final loss estimate for the insured property market loss from extratropical cyclone Friederike stands at €1.67 billion, down from its previous estimate of €1.68 billion in July 2018.
* Reinsurer Swiss Re AG expects fourth-quarter 2018 preliminary claims burden from recent natural catastrophes of approximately $1.0 billion, mainly affecting reinsurance, and net of retrocession and before tax. Swiss Re expects a combined claims burden from natural catastrophes and large man-made disasters of $2.9 billion for full-year 2018.
* Norway's new tax rules for insurance and pension companies will affect the results and solvency ratio of Storebrand ASA, which said that the change could lead to a tax income of about 1.6 billion Norwegian kroner in the fourth quarter of 2018. It also increases the insurer's calculated solvency ratio by about 6 percentage points.
Buyers and sellers
* U.K.-based insurer Bupa has completed its acquisition of Turkey-based Acıbadem Sağlık ve Hayat Sigorta AŞ.
* Vienna Insurance Group AG has completed the merger of its Czech bancassurance business Pojišťovna České spořitelny a.s. with local company Kooperativa Pojistovna a.s. The merger took effect Jan. 1.
* Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. will divest its U.K. regional managing general agency, Aspen Risk Management Ltd. Aon Securities was appointed to manage the process. The decision came as part of a review of Aspen Insurance's U.K. portfolio, which already exited some noncore lines in 2018.
* U.K.-based Saffron Insurance Services Ltd. has acquired independent broker Farmer Insurance Brokers. Farmer Insurance will remain at its current office and retain its staff.
* Maiden Holdings Ltd. has sold Germany-based auto insurance subsidiary AVS Automotive VersicherungsService GmbH and its related European subsidiaries to Allianz Partners SAS. The employees of AVS Automotive VersicherungsService GmbH have joined Allianz Partners. It will continue to operate using its existing name.
* The Spanish division of French insurer Axa has acquired 23.8% of Vidanet Vida y Ahorro SL, owner of digital platform Vidahorro, to cement its position in the digital pension market in Spain.
* Russian nonstate pension fund NPF Otkritie sold 11.7% shares of Russian Rosgosstrakh Insurance Co. PJSC in several transactions via the Moscow Exchange at the end of 2018, reducing its stake in the company to 9.9%. The shares, sold at a price of around 8 billion Russian rubles, were most likely acquired by National Bank Trust PJSC or Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank, the parent company of NPF Otkritie.
* Sally Lake will be appointed as the group finance director of U.K.-based Beazley PLC, effective when Martin Bride steps down in May.
* German HDI Global SE has hired Claire McDonald as managing director of its U.K. and Ireland operations. She will assume the role on March 18, coming over from Allianz Group unit Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE, where she was global head of operations.
In other news
* The Polish Financial Supervision Authority published its guidelines regarding the payment of dividends for insurers from their 2018 profits. The payment of dividends of up to 75% of the 2018 profit will be possible for insurers that did not show any shortage of own funds to cover capital requirements and were not subject to a financial recovery program.
* London-based Pool Reinsurance Co. Ltd. is sponsoring Baltic PCC Ltd. (Series 2019), a terrorism risk catastrophe bond. The U.K.-based reinsurer wants at least £75 million of retrocessional reinsurance protection against terrorist acts in the U.K. mainland.
* Lloyd's of London is asking managing agents to provide more quarterly information so it can track performance against plans as part of its continuing effort to improve syndicate profitability.
* U.K.-based Pension Insurance Corp. PLC will insure £425 million of pension liabilities connected to the Somerfield Pension Scheme after completing a pension insurance buy-in with the scheme's trustee.
Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence
Zurich's $100M cyber claim battle could trigger policy overhaul: Cyber underwriters may need to be clearer about how they intend to use war exclusions if Zurich successfully avoids a claim from U.S. food giant Mondelez for the NotPetya malware attack.