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FEMA suspends NFIP renewals; Enstar-Maiden Re deal closed; Swiss Re warns on ILS

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FEMA suspends NFIP renewals; Enstar-Maiden Re deal closed; Swiss Re warns on ILS

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will not renew policies issued under the National Flood Insurance Program while the federal government is shut down, Reuters reported. Congress had passed a five-month extension of the NFIP, but FEMA said the federal government shutdown means that it cannot issue new policies without legislation reauthorizing the program. A group of insurance trade bodies called the decision "a rebuke of the clear intent" of Congress and President Donald Trump.

Swiss Re AG CEO Christian Mumenthaler told the Financial Times that there are warning signs of stress in markets for alternative insurance capital such as cat bonds, likening the situation to the U.S. mortgage market ahead of the global financial crisis. He also said Swiss Re would consider acquisitions of both primary insurers and other reinsurers as part of a "consolidation play."

A wholly owned subsidiary of Enstar Group Ltd. completed the acquisition of Maiden Reinsurance North America Inc. for net consideration of $272.4 million.

Malaysia's MAA Group Bhd. said unit Columbus Capital Pty Ltd. completed the sale of its 47.95% stake in Australia-based Columbus Capital Pty Ltd. to Consortia Group Holdings Pty Ltd.

CNP Patrimoine, a unit of France's CNP Assurances SA dedicated to wealth management clients, will acquire the Quality Insurance Services management platform, which manages its contracts in France and Luxembourg. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zurich Takaful Malaysia Berhad CEO Salim Majid Zain is leaving to join another company in the same industry, The Sun Daily reported, citing a source.

Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers appointed Mark Afable to replace Ted Nickel as the state's insurance commissioner, Insurance Journal reported.

The North Carolina Rate Bureau made a request to the North Carolina Department of Insurance for a 17.4% increase in homeowners' rates, effective Oct. 1, 2019, Insurance Journal reported.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Top reinsurers looking to take on more cyberrisk as market evolves: The big four reinsurers are treading carefully when underwriting cyber exposures, but are trying to find ways to improve their understanding of the risks and offer more support to insurers.

China gives more time to generic-drug makers; Cancer therapy developer plans IPO: China's drug regulator lifted the Dec. 31 deadline imposed on generic-drug makers to conduct bioequivalence tests for their products; and Harpoon Therapeutics is planning an IPO of its common shares to raise up to $86.3 million.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Carlyle, GIC to buy SBI Life stake; 2 Chinese banks to set up wealth units

Europe: Novo Banco selling €2.15B bad loans; Mediobanca sets aside €2B for acquisitions

Middle East & Africa: Doha Bank closes $525M loan; Egypt holds rates; StanChart Kenya gets new CEO

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.10% to 25,504.20, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.31% to 20,014.77.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.80% to 6,703.46, and the Euronext 100 was up 1.69% to 906.87

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 international trade in goods report, the retail inventories report, the wholesale inventories report, the Chicago PMI, the pending home sales index, the EIA Natural Gas Report, the EIA Petroleum Status Report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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