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Humana deal; US health insurance outlook; Mapfre warning; Japan Post probe

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Humana deal; US health insurance outlook; Mapfre warning; Japan Post probe

Humana Inc. agreed to acquire privately held hospice pharmacy and benefit management provider Enclara Healthcare from Consonance Capital Partners and Enclara management.

The Federal Reserve Board extended the comment period for its proposal to create risk-based capital requirements for depository institution holding companies that are significantly engaged in insurance activities.

California's fire insurer of last resort has gone to court to compel the state's insurance regulator to pull back on a rule change that orders the program to offer comprehensive insurance policies.

Moody's maintained its stable outlook for the U.S. health insurance sector for 2020 as it expects continued economic growth and a strong focus on controlling medical costs. The rating agency said its outlook is underlined by expected "healthy" earnings growth supported by "steady" economic and demographic trends, including growth in Medicare Advantage.

Liberty Mutual Insurance will no longer accept underwriting risk for companies that derive more than 25% of their profit from the extraction or production of energy from thermal coal.

Insurers are expected to make a $65 million advance payment to PES Holdings, the parent company of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, for damage from a massive refinery fire, The Insurance Insider reported. The amount is $15 million more than a previously agreed sum, company lawyers said. Axa XL, Munich Re and Scor SE are among the insurance providers, according to court filings.

Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis in Japan and the riots in Chile could impact Mapfre SA's attributable result by €130 million to €140 million. The events will primarily affect Mapfre's reinsurance business and will not significantly impact the Spanish insurer's solvency position or capital strength.

Stewart Information Services Corp. Group President John Magness left the company, effective Dec. 6.

Global Risk Partners Ltd. has held talks with three private equity companies about a possible sale of a majority stake, Insurance Age reported.

China Cinda Asset Management Co. Ltd. sold its entire 50.995% stake in life and health insurance subsidiary Happy Life Insurance Co. Ltd. for 7.5 billion yuan. The state-owned distressed asset manager said it sold a 30% stake in Happy Life to Champion Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Ltd. for 4.41 billion yuan, and another 20.995% stake to DongGuan Communications Investment Group Co. Ltd. for 3.09 billion yuan.

Japan's Financial Services Agency could decide to order Japan Post and Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. to suspend sales of insurance policies, Reuters reported, citing the Nikkei Shimbun. The financial regulator will also look to clarify where the responsibility lies at the Japan Post Group for more than 10,000 cases of missold insurance and could order business practice changes at Japan Post Holdings Co. Ltd., according to the report.

China Reinsurance (Group) Corp. is establishing a fully owned subsidiary, China Reinsurance Hong Kong Co. Ltd. S&P Global Ratings assigned preliminary A issuer credit and financial strength ratings to the subsidiary, which it anticipates will play "a critical role in the group's overseas expansion strategy for the life reinsurance business."

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Genworth rises as insurer closes MI Canada deal; managed care stocks slip: The S&P 500 rose 0.73% to a record-high 3,168.80 for the week ending Dec. 13. The SNL U.S. Insurance Index gained 0.61% to close at 1,156.54.

Commercial auto insurer takes unusual step in filing bankruptcy petition: An insurance underwriter is among the affiliates of a freight services company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection even though certain provisions of federal law indicate that it might not be able to do so.

Fed prepares for dicey year-end period in repo markets: The Federal Reserve is heading into a tricky period as the end of the year approaches and potentially brings back volatility in money markets.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Ant Financial, Vanguard in China retail JV; Thai bank eyes SE Asia expansion

Europe: Deutsche eyes bonus cut; 2 German banks to begin M&A talks; Italian bank rescue

Middle East & Africa: National Bank of Oman to exit Egypt; Fitch revises outlook on Cabo Verde

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.65% to 27,508.09, and the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.29% to 23,952.35.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 2.19% to 7,514.52, and the Euronext 100 rose 1.00% to 1,143.74.

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 Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the Housing Market Index and the Treasury International Capital report are due out today.

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