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S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription. the week.

Regulatory actions and industrywide news

* The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is banning the use of unsolicited telephone sales for direct life insurance and consumer credit insurance products.

* Hong Kong's Insurance Authority reported a steep decline in the volume of new office premiums issued to Chinese visitors in the third quarter.

* The Philippines' Bureau of the Treasury has secured 1 trillion pesos of indemnity insurance policy to provide coverage for public assets in times of calamities, The Philippine Star reported.

Deals and other transactions

* Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. agreed to acquire Singapore-based Asia Capital Reinsurance Group Pte. Ltd. As part of the transaction, Asia Capital Re will cease writing business with immediate effect and all existing policies in force will be serviced until expiry.

* Hong Kong-based Manulife Financial Asia Ltd has agreed to sell its life insurance and asset management businesses in Thailand to conglomerate King Wai Group (Thailand) PCL.

* Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. Ltd. is off-loading some of its reinsurance contracts to RiverStone Insurance (UK) Ltd. through an insurance business transfer scheme. The arrangement is subject to the approval of the High Court of England and Wales.

In other news

* Hong Kong-based FWD Group Management Holdings Ltd. will be exiting its group medical insurance business in Singapore. The company will also wind down its employee benefits division by December 2020, The Straits Times reported.

* Moody's says that its stable 2020 outlook for Japan's life insurance sector is supported by strong and stable underwriting margins that will continue over the next 12 to 18 months.

* Frederick Crawford, the CFO of U.S.-based Aflac Inc., said the expected 20% to 30% decline in Japan Post channel sales for 2020 was assumed for earned premium planning purposes after reporting that 2019 sales are expected to be between ¥12 billion and ¥13 billion.

* Australia's Ensurance Ltd. raised nearly A$3.8 million, before costs, from an entitlement issue involving 252,869,413 shares.