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Insurers' Boeing exposure; Munich Re profit forecast; Allianz eyes Deutsche biz

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.

Insurers' Ethiopia plane crash exposure

* Munich Re Co. estimates that it will have a claims bill of between €100 million and €120 million from the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash. It is expecting claims from the loss of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet itself, the loss of passenger life, and manufacturer Boeing's potential liability for the worldwide grounding of 737 Max 8 aircraft in response to the crash.

* Talanx AG disclosed that its exposure to the fatal crash will be "slightly above" €10 million, Reuters wrote.

* Swiss Re AG confirmed that it is among the insurers covering Boeing's airline manufacturer liability policy, and that it is a co-insurer of Ethiopian Airlines, according to a Reuters report.

Buying and selling

* Allianz Group may buy Deutsche Bank AG's asset management business DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA and combine it with its existing money management arm. The discussions are in the early stages and may not result in a transaction.

* Axa is selling 40 million common shares of its U.S. unit, AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. The selling shareholder also granted underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 6 million common shares.

Earnings and forecasts

* Munich Re expects its profit for 2019 to be approximately €2.5 billion, of which about €2.1 billion is attributable to reinsurance and approximately €400 million to primary insurance division ERGO. Meanwhile Munich Re will repurchase shares for a maximum total price of €1 billion, excluding incidental expenses, from May 2 until April 29, 2020, at the latest.

* Vienna Insurance Group AG's fourth-quarter 2018 net result after non-controlling interests dropped to €61.9 million from €82.6 million in 2017.

Executive moves

* Christian Hinsch, the board of management member overseeing Talanx's industrial lines division, is leaving the insurer's board.

* Liberty Specialty Markets Ltd. promoted Paul Sankey to global head of oil and gas, in addition to his current role as head of the energy and construction teams in London.

* Scor SE unit Scor Global P&C SE promoted the head of its Asia-Pacific business, Michel Blanc, to CEO of reinsurance following the planned retirement of CEO Victor Peignet.

* Norway's Insr Insurance Group ASA named Hans Petter Madsen CFO, effective April 1, replacing Bård Standal, who has been named deputy CEO of the company.

In other news

* Arch Insurance International made an investment in London-based insurance technology personal lines insurer Archipelago Risk Services Ltd. The London insurer, backed with underwriting capacity from Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd., previously Arch Insurance Co. (Europe) Ltd., will underwrite only intermediated business.

* The insurance division of BNP Paribas SA, BNP Paribas Cardif, is cutting its coal exposure and looking to invest €3.5 billion in green projects by the end of 2020. The insurance company said it now no longer finances any power generation business, whereby coal-fired power accounts for more than 30% of its installed capacity.

* U.K.'s Alesco Risk Management Services Ltd., a unit of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., will arrange a $3.5 billion reinsurance facility for all international upstream energy insurance programs written from Equatorial Guinea.

* Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd., or LV=, is planning to convert into a company limited by guarantee from a friendly society. Its mutual status will not be changed after conversion, which is subject to members' vote at the May 22 special general meeting.

* An arbitration tribunal ruled in favor of Standard Life Aberdeen PLC in the U.K. asset manager's dispute with Lloyds Banking Group PLC and insurance unit Scottish Widows Group Ltd. over an asset management contract. The tribunal said that Lloyds and Scottish Widows were not entitled to give notice in February 2018 to terminate their long-term asset management arrangements with Standard Life Aberdeen.

* Sampo Oyj's board will resolve the question of an extra dividend at the annual general meeting in light of tougher capital requirements. The board was to propose a higher dividend of €2.85 per share for 2018 at the meeting. It also has proposed an extra dividend of up to €500 million, or 90 cents per share.

* The U.K.'s Prudential Regulation Authority is planning to examine insurers' resilience to climate change in April as part of a stress test of the insurance market. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the regulator had found gaps in insurers' risk management despite their sophistication in modeling climate risks.

* Liberty Specialty Markets Ltd. completed the redomiciling of its European insurance company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE, to Luxembourg ahead of the Britain's planned exit from the European Union.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

European insurer failures poised to slow as new regime beds in, regulator says: The Solvency II capital regime has given regulators "a much greater suite of opportunities to step in proactively" when insurers hit trouble, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission CEO Samantha Barrass told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Munich Re facing claims bill of up to €120M from Ethiopian Airlines crash: The claims will come from a combination of the plane hull loss, passenger loss of life and Boeing's liability for the grounding of its 737 Max 8 aircraft.