S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.
* Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd. is reportedly looking to buy 7% to 8% of Aflac Inc. by the end of 2019 and will seek to make the U.S.-based insurer an affiliate four years later.
* Government-controlled Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. off-loaded a 35% stake in Chengdu Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. for US$2.4 billion.
* Singapore-based Great Eastern Holdings Ltd.'s wholly owned subsidiary, Great Eastern General Insurance Ltd., agreed to acquire PT. QBE General Insurance Indonesia from QBE Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. and QBE Insurance (International) Pty Ltd.
* Bank of Queensland Ltd. scrapped the proposed sale of its life insurance arm, St Andrew's Insurance, to Freedom Insurance Group Ltd.
* Malaysia's MAA Group Bhd. unit Columbus Capital Singapore Pte Ltd. agreed to sell its 47.95% stake in Australia-based Columbus Capital Pty Ltd. to Consortia Group Holdings Pty Ltd. for A$21 million in cash.
* Suncorp Group Ltd. expects approximately A$30 million pretax of annualized "stranded costs" from the sale of its Australian life insurance business to TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Ltd.
* Australia's QBE Insurance Group Ltd. restructured its reinsurance program by reducing its peak and non-peak catastrophe retention to US$400 million and US$100 million, respectively, raising catastrophe limit to US$2.9 billion from US$1.8 billion in 2018 and getting increased quota share protection.
* Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. has withdrawn from the Hong Kong employees' compensation terrorism pool, effective Dec. 1. It will now offer employees' compensation terrorism coverage directly to customers, making it the first Hong Kong insurer to do so.
* Peak Reinsurance Co. Ltd. launched an insurance-linked securities transaction that it described as the first Asian reinsurance sidecar deal.
* Japan's Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. and AXA Life Insurance Co. Ltd. formed a capital alliance with Japan-based Emimen Co. Ltd. As part of the deal, Sumitomo Life and AXA Life Insurance each acquired 3.13% of Emimen Co.'s common shares through a third-party share allocation.
In other news
* South Korea's Kyobo Life Insurance Co. Ltd. plans to go public in the second half of 2019, the sixth company in the country's life insurance industry to do so.
* Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty's latest global claims review showed that fire and explosion incidents cause the largest claims for insurers and the businesses they cover. The report reveals the top causes of claims in the corporate insurance segment based on an analysis of 470,000 claims from over 200 countries from July 2013 to July 2018, with an approximate value of €58 billion.