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FATCA victory on P&C premiums; Centene forecasts; Cigna-Express Scripts approval

The U.S. Treasury issued rules that exclude non-cash value property/casualty insurance premiums from Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, reporting requirements. The move follows eight years of lobbying by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, The Insurance Insider noted.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones asked residential insurers to pay at least 75% and up to 100% of personal property or contents coverage for total losses caused by recent wildfires, without the policyholders having to provide detailed personal property inventories.

New York and California approved Cigna Corp.'s pending acquisition of Express Scripts Holding Co. Cigna said it is working with regulators in New Jersey, the one outstanding state where approval is required. Closing is expected by the end of 2018, subject to satisfaction of the closing conditions.

For 2019, Centene Corp. expects total revenues of $69.7 billion to $70.5 billion, pre-split EPS of $7.23 to $7.59 and adjusted pre-split EPS of $8.15 to $8.55. Centene's board declared a 2-for-1 split of the insurer's common stock in the form of a 100% stock dividend, expected to be effective in the first quarter of 2019.

Health Insurance Innovations Inc. and subsidiary Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings LLC reached a settlement agreement with state regulators related to a multistate market conduct examination. The company will pay $3.4 million to the settling jurisdictions for the examination costs, administrative costs and compliance.

Netherlands-based NN Group NV expects to take an €852 million goodwill impairment charge against its IFRS profit in the fourth quarter related to merging its life division with the corresponding unit of Delta Lloyd NV. It will carry out the same move with the respective nonlife units.

Private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners LLP signed an exclusivity arrangement to sell France-based AssurOne Group SA to French holding company Societe Centrale Prevoir SA, subject to consultation with the relevant workers' council. Proposed financial details for the arrangement were not disclosed.

Australia-based Suncorp Group Ltd. expects approximately A$30 million pretax of annualized "stranded costs" from the sale of its Australian life insurance business to TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Ltd. Suncorp projects a pretax hit of approximately A$10 million in its 2019 financial results, assuming completion of the sale on Feb. 28, 2019.

Vespoint LLC completed the recapitalization of American Life & Security Corp., a subsidiary of Midwest Holding Inc. With Vespoint's latest contribution of $17.5 million, it has now provided American Life & Security with total funding of $20.5 million this year.

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Last of a dying breed, fraternal society's bank to sell $225M in deposits: The final U.S. fraternal benefit society to directly engage in full-service banking is joining two other peers that previously exited or materially repurposed such businesses in recent years.

Pressure rising on SEC to standardize ESG disclosures: The inconsistency of environmental, social and governance disclosures across companies and industries "is a real challenge for investment managers," a State Street executive said at an SEC meeting with the commissioners.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: India mulls injecting more capital to public banks; Philippines holds rates

Europe: Basel targets banks inflating leverage ratios; Sabadell selling Solvia to Intrum

Middle East & Africa: Saudi Arabia said to be secretly buying stocks; Mozambique cuts rate

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng decreased 1.62% to 26,094.79, while the Nikkei 225 was down 2.02% to 21,374.83.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.80% to 6,822.14, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.97% to 941.36.

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 U.S. Retail Sales report, the Industrial Production report, the PMI Composite FLASH, the Business Inventories report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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