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Epic Integro deal; PartnerRe quitting Dubai; Centene boosts enrollment

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Epic Integro deal; PartnerRe quitting Dubai; Centene boosts enrollment

Epic Holdings Inc. agreed to buy Integro Ltd.'s U.S. business, Integro Holdings Inc., for undisclosed financial terms.

Centene Corp. expects its peak health insurance marketplace enrollment for 2019 to surpass this year's by 150,000 to 200,000 members.

PartnerRe Ltd. will close its operation in Dubai in early 2019, the Insurance Insider reported. The Bermuda-based insurer will retain its book of business written in Dubai and is expected to move the management of risks to its Zurich and Paris offices. Aspen Re withdrew from writing facultative reinsurance from Dubai in November, the publication noted.

UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s Optum and DaVita Inc. agreed to cut the sale price of DaVita Medical Group to $4.34 billion from $4.90 billion.

In other deal news, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. acquired Conshohocken, Pa.-based Preston-Patterson Co. Inc.; Hub International Ltd. acquired the employee benefits practice of Rise People Inc.; Ryan Specialty Group LLC acquired the assets and operations of Superior Payment Plan LLC, a Depew, N.Y.-based premium finance company; and NFP Corp. acquired Benefit Administration Group LLC and HM Benefits LLC.

Shares of U.S. health insurers, hospitals and healthcare companies dropped yesterday after a federal district judge in Texas ruled the entire Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional, Reuters reported.

Sompo International Holdings Ltd. Chairman and CEO John Charman will be promoted to CEO of overseas insurance business for parent Sompo Holdings Inc., effective April 1, 2019. Nigel Frudd will become CEO of Sompo International, effective Jan. 1, 2019, subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

Swiss Re AG named Mark Hodges CEO of its U.K. closed book business, ReAssure, from March 1, 2019. He will lead the business through the anticipated IPO in 2019 and will lead its next phase of expansion as an independent listed closed book consolidator

Spanish lender Banco Santander SA and Spanish insurer Mapfre SA are in talks over a deal that would see Santander exclusively sell Mapfre's insurance products for cars and small and medium-sized business, Expansión reported.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission fined Korean Reinsurance Co. 7.6 billion won (about US$6.7 million), citing the company's business practices in obstructing competition in the domestic general aviation reinsurance market.

Germany's terrorism reinsurance pool, jointly owned by 15 major insurers, declined to take London market reinsurers on its treaty at renewal, The Insurance Insider reported. The pool reportedly looked into using Lloyd's of London for coverage via a fronting arrangement, but opted not to pursue the move and ultimately told broker Guy Carpenter not to use London at all. The move came after Covéa decided not to renew its property and casualty treaty at Lloyd's.

Oceanic Securities PTE Ltd., which owns 15.27% of CBL Corp. Ltd.'s shares, filed an opposition to the proposed liquidation of the New Zealand-based insurer.

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Individual annuity considerations surpass $50B again in Q3: An improved sales environment has helped U.S. life insurance individual annuity considerations grow 11.5% year over year during the first nine months of 2018.

US FDA names new deputy commissioner; China approves 1st homegrown IO drug: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration appointed Amy Abernethy as principal deputy commissioner; and Shanghai Junshi became 1st among domestic drugmakers to get approval for immuno-oncology medicines in China.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: CBL shareholder opposes liquidation; Bank of Baroda to close overseas branches

Europe: Saxo Bank to buy BinckBank for €424M; Bankia off-loads €3B of bad loans

Middle East & Africa: Diamond Bank confirms Access Bank merger deal; Moody's lifts Bahrain outlook

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.05% to 25,814.25, and the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.82% to 21,115.45.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE was down 0.39% to 6,746.86, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.30% to 929.32.

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 housing starts report and the Redbook index for retail sales are due out today.

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