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Liberty Mutual sale; short-term health plans probed; US grounds 737 MAX


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Liberty Mutual sale; short-term health plans probed; US grounds 737 MAX

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. is selling London-based Pembroke Managing Agency Ltd., Dublin-based Ironshore Europe DAC and Dubai-based Visionary Underwriters to Hamilton Insurance Group.

President Donald Trump announced an emergency order grounding all flights of Boeing Co. 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 aircraft in the U.S., effective immediately, days after a fatal crash of a 737 MAX 8 passenger plane in Ethiopia. Japan on Thursday banned flights by the two aircraft from its airspace, Reuters reported. French investigators are taking charge of the crashed passenger plane's black boxes, Reuters also reported.

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce is conducting an investigation into the practices of companies that either sell or assist consumers in buying short-term, limited duration insurance healthcare plans.

U.K. lawmakers last night rejected Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal, lining up a new vote today to delay the March 29 Brexit date.

U.K.-based Just Group PLC will issue new shares and debt and cancel its 2018 dividend to strengthen its balance sheet in response to the U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority's proposed changes to rules for so-called lifetime mortgages. The insurer will issue up to £300 million in Restricted Tier 1 debt and launched a share issue with assumed proceeds of £80 million.

Italy's Generali recorded group net profit of €2.31 billion in 2018, up from €2.11 billion in the prior year. The company will propose a dividend of 90 cents per share, higher than the previous payout of 85 cents per share.

Swiss Re AG will now ask shareholders to approve up to CHF2.0 billion of share repurchases, comprising a CHF1.0 billion tranche to commence shortly after the 2019 AGM, and a second CHF1.0 billion tranche contingent on the group's capital position, specifically if it rises significantly following a successful reduction of the reinsurer's stake in U.K.-based ReAssure to below 50%.

Progressive Corp. yesterday reported net income attributable to the company of $327.6 million, or 55 cents per share, in February, up from $129.1 million, or 22 cents per share, a year ago.

Gibraltar-based Elite Insurance Co. Ltd. received a court order Jan. 31 to design and roll out a scheme of arrangement after failing to meet its regulatory capital requirement.

DentaQuest LLC agreed to acquire DCP Holding Co., which does business as Dental Care Plus Inc., for $41.5 million in cash.

In Idaho, Gov. Brad Little enacted a bill that would give workers' compensation to first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder, Business Insurance reported, citing a spokesman in the governor's office.

JMP Securities analysts expect the dominance of large traditional reinsurers to continue at the April 1 reinsurance renewals in Japan, Artemis reported.

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Genworth's life division struggled to generate new sales in 2018: Genworth's combined new premiums accounted for less than 1% of its total premiums in 2018.

£36B Brexit business transfer costs UK's Prudential £27M: M&G Prudential CEO John Foley said the new Luxembourg fund platform that received the business gives the company "a springboard for further international growth."

J&J loses talc cancer case; Merck's Keytruda gets EU nod in NSCLC: A California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman who claimed the company's products caused her cancer; and Merck & Co. received European approval for its blockbuster drug Keytruda to treat certain lung cancer patients.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: CBA suspends demerger plans; China hikes tolerance for micro companies' NPLs

Europe: 'Brextension' option; RBI shakes off Russia fears; profits rise at Pru, Generali

Middle East & Africa: Israel's First International Bank posts higher profit; Mashreqbank going digital

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.15% to 28,851.39. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.02% to 21,287.02.

In Europe around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.48% to 7,193.54 and the Euronext 100 was 0.53% higher at 1,033.03.

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 jobless claims report, the import and export prices report, the new home sales report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

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