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Swiss Re to sell ReAssure to Phoenix; 4 insurers eyeing Spain's Caser Seguros

S&P Global Market Intelligence offer our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.

M&A activity

* Swiss Re AG agreed to sell ReAssure Group PLC to Phoenix Group Holdings PLC in a deal that values ReAssure at £3.25 billion. The Swiss reinsurance company will receive a cash payment of £1.2 billion as well as shares in Phoenix representing a 13% to 17% stake. Meanwhile, ReAssure's minority shareholder, MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc., will receive shares in Phoenix representing an 11% to 15% stake.

* German insurance company Arag SE completed its acquisition of the Irish business operations of DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Co. Ltd.

* French insurance broker April SA completed the sale of its travel insurance subsidiary, April International Voyage, to two of its executives — CEO Matthieu Drouet and Deputy CEO Jean-Philippe Lardennois.

* Belgium-based Ethias SA is set to become a 33% shareholder of assistance and services provider IMA Benelux SA, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

* Generali Zavarovalnica dd received all necessary regulatory approvals for its merger with fellow Slovenian insurer Adriatic Slovenica Zavarovalna druzba dd.

Deal chatter

* Netherlands-based NN Group NV, Belgium-based Ageas SA/NV, Switzerland's Helvetia Holding AG and Spain's Santa Lucía SA had until Dec. 3 to give their final offers to take over Spanish insurer Caser Seguros, Reuters reported.

* Talks over Generali's possible acquisition of the majority of U.S.-based MetLife Inc.'s European assets have been held up because of differences over price, Reuters reported, citing four sources.

Regulatory developments

* Swiss Re and its subsidiaries will adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards for consolidated financial statements with effect from Jan. 1, 2024.

* The French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority authorized Coface SA to use an internal model for calculating its regulatory capital requirement under the Solvency II directive.

* The Polish Financial Supervision Authority published its guidelines for the payment of dividends by local banks and insurance companies from their 2019 profits.

In other news

* Ageas will issue €750 million of Tier 1 perpetual subordinated fixed-rate resettable temporary write-down notes.

* Munich Re Co. and Beazley PLC reportedly put an end to their cyber insurance joint venture Vector — which offers $100 million limits for cyberrisks.

* Amanda Blanc will become a nonexecutive director and chair-designate of ERS Syndicate Management Ltd., as well as a nonexecutive director at holding company ERS DGB Ltd., effective Jan. 2, 2020.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Allianz finds climate-related rules to cost industries $2.5 trillion worldwide: The hardest hit sectors over the next decade are likely to be energy, steel and transportation, the report predicted.

Insurers pledging to abandon coal sector doubled in 2019, activists report: European insurers are moving away from coal more quickly, while a growing campaign to secure promises against profiting from coal mining is gaining a foothold in the U.S.

CEOs, investors should have more liability when banks fail, 2 academics say: A legal structure that encourages executives to take on more risk but limits their exposure to losses when things go wrong is unfit for banks, two U.K. academics say. They propose a two-tier system for bank shareholders based on influence and pay.