Munich Re pegged insured losses from typhoons Hagibis and Faxai at $10 billion and $7 billion, respectively. A total of 820 natural catastrophes caused overall losses of $150 billion in 2019. Insured losses came in at $52 billion, slightly above 35% of overall losses, matching the average of the past 10 years.
Also, the German reinsurer said environmental conditions have become more conducive to bushfires in Australia in the long term. It added that the bushfire season is expected to continue through February.
S&P Global Ratings analysts said heightening geopolitical tensions in the Gulf region could prompt reinsurers to review rates for war coverage. The analysts maintained their view that any military action by the U.S. or Iran "will be limited" in the aftermath of the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. on Jan. 3.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority told insurance CEOs that they should be proactive in tackling non-financial misconduct. Jonathan Davidson, the FCA's executive director of supervision, retail and authorizations, wrote in a letter to CEOs that such behavior continues to be prevalent. He warned that senior managers may be deemed "not fit and proper" if they fail to take reasonable steps to address non-financial misconduct.
The North Carolina Rate Bureau reached a settlement with the North Carolina Department of Insurance with regard to insurance rates, resulting in a statewide average rate increase of 0% for fire coverage and 5.3% for extended (wind) coverage.
Aetna Inc. established a special purpose vehicle for a $200 million insurance-linked securities transaction, Artemis reported. Cayman Islands-based Vitality Re XI Ltd. will issue two tranches of notes, providing coverage for losses above set medical benefit claims ratio.
Aflac Global Investments agreed to buy a "significant" noncontrolling minority interest in direct lending asset manager Varagon Capital Partners LP.
Kuvare US Holdings Inc. acquired Lincoln, Neb.-based Lincoln Benefit Life Co. and its affiliates.
Thomas H. Lee Partners LP will acquire a majority stake in AmeriLife Group LLC from J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC.
Risk Strategies has named Sharon Edwards COO.
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Social inflation at root of Florida homeowners insurer's rate push: The filing of first-party lawsuits has continued unabated, even as legislative reforms have helped curtail what had been a surge of litigated water claims with an assignment of benefits.
CalSTRS CIO sounds alarm bells on climate risk; 'Investors need to wake up': Christopher Ailman says the second-largest U.S. pension fund is debating a more active investment strategy to react to rapidly worsening climate risks. "If we continue to drag our feet," he says, "this problem is going to overwhelm us."
Iran may test US corporate cyber defenses as nation braces for retaliation: An Iranian cyberattack is seen as high on the list of possible threats from Tehran after the U.S. assassinated Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 3. "The first and most likely target is data," said one cybersecurity researcher.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: China to boost banks' capital; Thailand revises rules on bank fees
Europe: UK suspends no-deal Brexit planning; Barclays urged to end fossil-fuel lending
Middle East & Africa: Absa Group to boost lending in Africa; UBS to split EMEA wealth unit into 3
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng lost 0.83% to 28,087.92, and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.57% to 23,204.76.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slid 0.02% to 7,572.52, and the Euronext 100 shed 0.04% to 1,152.67.
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 ADP employment report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration Petroleum Status Report and the U.S. consumer credit report are due out today.
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