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Scor rejects Covea bid; S&P, A.M. Best reinsurance reports; Munich Re in US M&A


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Scor rejects Covea bid; S&P, A.M. Best reinsurance reports; Munich Re in US M&A

France-based Scor SE's board unanimously rejected an acquisition offer from U.K.-based Covea Insurance PLC after determining that it reflected "neither the intrinsic value nor the strategic value" of the company. Covea offered to pay €43 per share, Reuters reported.

Germany's Munich Re Co. is acquiring relayr Inc. in a deal that values the Boston-based technology company at $300 million.

South Korea's Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. is in the final stages of negotiations with MBK Partners Ltd. to acquire a controlling stake in Orange Life Insurance Co., formerly known as ING Life Insurance Korea Ltd., Yonhap News Agency reported. Also, South Korea's Financial Services Commission approved the change of Hyundai Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s controlling shareholder to Taiwan-based Fubon Life Insurance Co. Ltd. from the Hyundai Motor Group.

In India, Manipal Group is acquiring a 16.04% stake in Cigna TTK Health Insurance Co. Ltd. from TTK Group for an undisclosed amount, The Times of India reported. Cigna Corp. will continue to own a 49% stake in Cigna TTK.

The New York State Department of Financial Services cleared French insurer Axa's pending acquisition of XL Insurance Co. of New York Inc. and XL Reinsurance America Inc.

Markel Corp. is acquiring Bermuda-based insurance-linked securities manager Nephila Capital Ltd. for an undisclosed amount and U.K.'s Standard Life Aberdeen PLC completed the sale of Standard Life Assurance Ltd. to Phoenix Group Holdings.

In Australia, Suncorp Group Ltd. signed a share sale deed with TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Ltd. to sell its Australian life insurance business for about A$725 million and Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. bought Australia-based Super-Advice Corporate Services Pty Ltd. and Personal Advice Services Pty Ltd.

Tropical Storm Gordon will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico today, and will approach the north-central Gulf Coast area late this afternoon or evening, and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley tonight or early Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is expected to produce total rain accumulations of four to eight inches over the western Florida Panhandle. A few tornadoes are possible this afternoon through tonight near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

In Japan, Typhoon Jebi made landfall, leading to flight and train cancellations across the Kansai region and leaving more than 350,000 homes and offices without power, Bloomberg News reported.

Meanwhile, four state-run insurance companies expect to receive about 25,000 claims worth 45 billion Indian rupees due to the severe flooding in Kerala, NDTV reported, citing an official.

According to A.M. Best, the reinsurance sector continues to skip along the bottom of the market with no clear trigger for a meaningful and widespread rate hardening. Although reinsurance pricing did not develop as anticipated, terms and conditions did stabilize, yet remain below expectations for producing a reasonable risk-adjusted return relative to the average cost of capital for most reinsurers.

Meanwhile, S&P Global Ratings expects reinsurance price increases of up to 5% across the board in 2018. Reinsurers' profitability is likely to barely exceed their cost of capital in 2018 and 2019, it said.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. completed its share buyback program after repurchasing a total of 8,714,200 common shares for ¥29.98 billion.

Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. will cut its rates in New York, resulting in a reduction in its overall personal auto rate by 3.4%. The total statewide expected impact for State Farm by the rate decrease will be approximately $55 million.

Also, a lawsuit over allegations of State Farm's involvement in the election of an Illinois Supreme Court judge will go to trial in federal court next month, Insurance Journal reported.

U.K. insurer RSA Insurance Group PLC launched a new office in Luxembourg, as part of its Brexit preparations, to be led by Richard Turner, who previously oversaw the company's EU business from the U.K.

Japanese insurer Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Co. issued US$430 million of 6.5% step-up callable cumulative perpetual subordinated bonds, Fitch Ratings said in a Sept. 3 release.

And, foreign insurers will be allowed to conduct business in Myanmar starting Oct. 1, Asia Insurance Review reported.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Markel eyes leadership position in reinsurance, ILS with Nephila deal: Markel sees its plans to acquire investment manager Nephila Capital Ltd. as an opportunity to become a leader in the reinsurance and insurance-linked securities space.

Aspen's shares up after inking sale; bond insurers slide amid Puerto Rico talks: Shares of Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. jumped after Apollo Global Management LLC announced a deal to acquire the Bermuda-based reinsurer for $2.6 billion.

CMS sticks to Medicare Part D changes; Brexit to cost Pfizer $100M: The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the new policy for Medicare Part D "would not lead to an effective drug being replaced with an ineffective one;" and U.K.-based Pfizer expects costs of $100 million resulting from Brexit.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Shinhan Financial nears ING Life stake buy; Australia's FinClear eyes 2019 IPO

Europe: Danske Estonia handled $30B; SocGen's €1.1B penalty; London bank chief arrested

Middle East and Africa: 3 UAE lenders in merger talks; Tel Aviv bourse plans IPO by 2018-end

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng gained 0.94% to 27,973.34, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.05% to 22,696.90.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.30% to 7,481.73, and the Euronext 100 shed 0.94% to 1,049.48.

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 Purchasing Managers' manufacturing index, the Institute For Supply Management's manufacturing index and the construction spending report are due out today.

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