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Everest Re CEO retiring; 2018 nat cat losses $160B; Aussie hail to dent ILS


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Everest Re CEO retiring; 2018 nat cat losses $160B; Aussie hail to dent ILS

Natural disaster losses totaled $160 billion in 2018, significantly below the 2017 figure of $350 billion, according to Munich Re Co. However, insured losses totaled $80 billion, or 50% of total losses, compared with $140 billion, or 40%, in 2017.

National General Holdings Corp. expects to record $59 million of pretax notable large losses for the fourth quarter of 2018. The figure comprises $48 million related to wildfires in California and $11 million related to Hurricane Michael.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the hailstorm that hit Sydney and other areas in late December has resulted in nearly A$700 million of claims, and some ILS funds will experience minor loss impacts from the hailstorm, Artemis reported.

Everest Re Group Ltd.'s president and CEO, Dominic Addesso, informed the company's board that he will retire at the end of his contract term Dec. 31.

Neon Underwriting Ltd.'s insurance-linked securities vehicle, NCM Re, entered into a $77 million collateralized quota share, renewing and slightly upsizing last year's $72 million quota share, which was the first to utilize the U.K.'s ILS regime.

Aetna Inc. registered a special purpose vehicle for a $200 million medical benefit risk insurance-linked securities transaction, Artemis reported.

Brit Ltd., a unit of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., said it made a "significant" strategic investment in Toronto-based Sutton Special Risk Inc., a managing general underwriter specializing in accident and health business.

In other M&A news, Hub International Ltd. acquired the assets of New York-based The Rubin Group Inc., and White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. acquired a minority equity stake in San Francisco-based Noblr Inc., a property and casualty insurance provider. Also, Seeman Holtz Property and Casualty Inc. acquired Houston-based Professional Medical Insurance Services Inc.

Also, New York-based insurance broker The Amynta Group acquired ClearView Risk Holdings LLC, a Dallas-based habitational insurance managing general agent, and AssuredPartners Inc. acquired a trio of aviation insurance providers.

Australia-based Pop Insurance partnered with Allianz Global Corporate Specialty to launch a managing general agent, called Fusion Specialty M&A, Verdict reported. The new unit will focus on M&As across the Asia-Pacific region.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Ltd., a unit of Swiss Re AG, launched parametric water-level insurance to protect companies in Europe exposed to high or low water levels, Artemis reported.

Paragon Insurance Holdings LLC assumed managing general agent responsibilities for Argo Group International Holdings Ltd.'s landscape contracting program, effective Jan. 1.

New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. said it is "under normal operation and management" ahead of the election of a new session of its board of directors, in a statement following media reports that its chairman had stepped down. Shares in the company fell 6.7% yesterday in Shanghai on the back of the report, and were down a further 2.9% today.

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Only 1 stock in S&P 500 Financials Index ended December in the green: An insurer was the only company out of 67 in the financials index to end December 2018 in positive territory, with a 0.6% return.

Rothesay interest could grant Swiss Re full exit from UK closed life unit: But one analyst questions whether Swiss Re would be happy to sell all of its stake in ReAssure at the reported valuation instead of pushing ahead with the planned initial public offering.

Takeda completes £46B Shire buy; Gilead hepatitis drug gets Japan nod: Takeda completed its £46 billion acquisition of Dublin-based rare disease drug maker Shire, and Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved Gilead's Epclusa as a once-daily treatment for adults with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Bank of Communications gets OK on wealth unit; 2 Philippines banks to merge

Europe: Italy passes decree to help bolster Carige; investors sue Nordbank for €1.4B

Middle East & Africa: UAE banks face pressure to merge; Israel holds rate; Angola to stress test banks

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.15% to 25,875.449. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.82% to 20,204.04.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 increased 1.11% to 6,886.30, and the Euronext 100 rose 1.25% to 931.11.

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 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, the International Trade report, the Redbook report and the JOLTS report are due out today.

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