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Interest rates could hit solvency; Munich Re sticks with coal; Allianz flow woes

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Interest rates could hit solvency; Munich Re sticks with coal; Allianz flow woes

After the Department of Labor finalized a long-expected rule tweaking the rules related to association health plans, insurers are in something of a holding pattern as they gauge whether there is enough demand to start offering the products and if regulators will offer them long-term support.

A sharp jump in interest rates after a prolonged period of ultraloose monetary policy could trigger solvency and liquidity problems at insurers and pension funds, the Bank for International Settlements warned.

Munich Re Co. does not plan to follow rival reinsurers Swiss Re AG and Scor SE in imposing limits on the policies they write for coal-related business, a company spokesman told Reuters.

Germany-based Allianz Group is expecting a tougher year in terms of flow numbers into its asset management business owing to the recent volatility in financial markets, board member Jacqueline Hunt told Reuters.

CapSpecialty Inc. will continue to do business as an indirect unit of Alleghany Corp. after advanced sales talks with a trade bidder were disengaged, The Insurance Insider noted.

Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting estimates that total economic and insured losses from a recent spate of powerful thunderstorms in the U.S. will likely exceed US$100 million. The thunderstorms caused damage across parts of the Central and Eastern U.S. from June 29 to July 4, including torrential rains and flash flooding in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Toronto-based Intact Financial Corp. is expecting second-quarter pretax catastrophe losses of C$142 million, or 75 cents per share, after tax.

New India Assurance Co. Ltd. will have to pay around 2.5 billion rupees (about US$36.3 million) in insurance claims to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. after a fighter jet made by the company crashed on a pre-delivery test flight June 27, Business Standard reported. This will be the largest payout in the aviation sector for Indian insurers since late 2015.

The first hurricane of the Atlantic season has formed, according to the National Hurricane Center. "Tiny" Hurricane Beryl is likely to weaken to a tropical storm or even a strong open trough near the Lesser Antilles on Sunday or Monday.

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr announced that three Florida-domiciled insurance companies, Vault Reciprocal Exchange, Normandy Insurance Co. and Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co., have been approved to do business in the state.

Virginia National Bankshares Corp. expects that it will charge off $320,000 in past due student loans because of the liquidation of ReliaMax Surety Co.

Featured News

Bristol-Myers to sell French unit; Eisai, Biogen Alzheimer's drug passes study: Bristol-Myers is selling its French over-the-counter drugs unit, in a deal worth about €1.5 billion; and an Alzheimer's disease drug developed by Eisai and Biogen showed positive results in a final analysis of a mid-stage study.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Credit Suisse fined in Asia-Pacific hiring probe; Hong Kong's PAG to enter India

Europe: Irish banks told to hold more capital; Credit Suisse fined; Barclays buying NPLs

Middle East and Africa: Abraaj-Colony Capital deal in question; Waha Capital plans hiring spree

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.47% to 28,315.62, and the Nikkei 225 rose 1.12% to 21,788.14.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.21% to 7,587.28, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.14% to 1,051.59.

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 employment situation report, the international trade report, the EIA natural gas report, the Treasury STRIPS report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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