S&PGlobal Market Intelligence offers our top picks of banking news stories andmore published throughout the week.
On the deal table
*Deutsche Bank AGagreed to sell itsU.K.-based Abbey Life business to Phoenix Group Holdings unit for £935million in cash. Phoenix Group will raise a total of £735 million via a fullyunderwritten rights issue and £250 million from a new bank facility to financethe acquisition. The rights issue will be made on the basis of 7 rights issueshares issued at 508 pence apiece for every 12 existing Phoenix Group shares.
*Bermuda-based, London-listed Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd.acquired UnitedStates Sports Insurance Co. LLC, a wholly owned captive insurer of USA SwimmingInc., for a total consideration of $2.1 million.
*AXAand Allianz SEreportedly moved to the second round of bidding for a with Standard Chartered Plc that would grant exclusive accessto the U.K.-based banking group's branches in Asia.
*Sampo Oyj commencedits mandatory offerfor shares in TopdanmarkA/S that it does not currently own at a price of 183 Danish kronerper share in cash. The aggregate cash consideration would amount toapproximately 10.6 billion kroner if all shares not held by Sampo or Topdanmarkare tendered under the mandatory offer.
*Allianz Group isexploring various strategicalternatives for unit Oldenburgische Landesbank AG, including a partial ortotal sale of the regional private bank. Commerzbank AG and U.S. private equity firm have reportedly submitted nonbinding offers for the bank.
*UNIQA Insurance GroupAG mandated KPMG to identify buyers for Italian businesses UniqaAssicurazioni, Uniqa Previdenza and Uniqa Life. , Società RealeMutua di Assicurazioni, Apollo Global Management LLC and Cinven are said to beamong those participating in the bidding process.
*The Slovenian Insurance Supervision Agency approved the of Zavarovalnica Tilia dd and Croatia's and Velebit životnoosiguranje dd into Zavarovalnica Maribor dd. The insurers' parent company,Pozavarovalnica Savadd, said the regulatory approval will allow for the formal mergerto be completed at the start of November. The merged company will operate asZavarovalnica Sava.
*Zurich Insurance GroupLtd. unit ZurichAustralian Insurance Ltd. completed the court and process forits acquisition of MacquarieGroup Ltd.'s life insurance business. The Federal Court ofAustralia approved the transfer of Macquarie Life's risk insurance portfolio,including FutureWise, Active and Sumo policies, to Zurich Australian Insuranceon Oct. 1.
*R&Q Insurance (Malta)Ltd. receivedregulatory approvals for the portfolio transfer agreement of certain contractsrelating to legacy exposures originally underwritten by , a Belgian firmspecializing in aviation insurance and reinsurance.
*Generali agreed tosell its entire 51%stake in Guatemala-based Aseguradora Generali SA to its localpartners, which Generali did not name. The group will also sell 100% ofLiechtenstein-based life insurance unit Fortuna Lebens-Versicherungs AG toMunich-based financial services firm FWU AG.
*The Icelandic treasury sold its entire 13.93% stake in insurer Sjóvá-Almennartryggingar hf. for total proceeds of 2.81 billion Icelandic kronur. The pricewas set at 12.91 kronur per share, with 217,655,980 shares sold.
*MAPFRE SA appointedFernando Mata executive director and CFO, with effect from Jan. 1, 2017. Theinsurer's board, meanwhile, approved the appointment of Antonio Núñez as firstvice chairman, succeeding Esteban Tejera, who will retire as a group executiveat the end of 2016.
*Gjensidige ForsikringASA named Jostein Amdal CFO as part of changes in the group management team thattake effect Oct. 1. Amdal will take over as CFO from Catharina Hellerud, whowill continue as executive vice president, now with responsibility foranalytics, product and price. Gjensidige added that it will cut approximately190 full-time staff and support roles across the group during 2017.
*The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England's PrudentialRegulation Authority proposed extending the conduct rules to all nonexecutive directors of banks andinsurers. The regulators also proposed to obligate U.K. branches of overseasbanks and insurers to inform their U.K. employees about the whistleblowingprograms of the FCA and the PRA.
*The Association of British Insurers signaled that it will to the Solvency IIrules following the Brexit vote, calling for a regulatory environment that is"appropriate" for the U.K. market. "As the largest sector inEurope, it is not feasible to be in a position where we have no say on how weare regulated," Huw Evans, director general of ABI, said.
*Romania's government and parliament are debating a law that could see mandatory insurance pricesfor all vehicles capped for six months, and the local regulator tasked withsetting reference tariffs thereafter.
*Legal & General GroupPlc said its retirement division is to double new business sales in2016, with sales already at £5.4 billion, compared to £2.9 billion at 2015-end.The group noted that customer demand at the business has not been impacted bythe introduction of the Solvency II regime in 2016, the uncertainty surroundingthe Brexit vote and the continuing low interest rate environment.
*Ethias SA intends toboost its Solvency IIratio to a minimum level of 150% sooner than its original target of 2019, aspart of a recovery plan presented to the Belgian central bank to resolveconcerns over the company's viability. The company had a Solvency II ratio of125% as of June 30.
*Helios UnderwritingPlc said it plans to raise up to £5.25 million through a proposedplacing of up to 3.5 million new ordinary shares at a price of £1.50 per shareby way of an accelerated bookbuilding process. In addition, up to a further £3.2million may be raised by way of a conditional open offer to existingshareholders on the basis of one new ordinary share for every five existingordinary shares.
Featuredduring the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence
NAICleader warns Congress that Germany could face reinsurance market retaliationfor Solvency II measures: A successful insurance covered agreementwould prevent jurisdictions from penalizing each other, the Federal InsuranceOffice director said.