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UnitedHealth Group calling it quits in 2 ACA markets; Willis Towers Watson deal not likely affected by proposed tax inversion rules

In the news

willnot be offering planson Arkansas' health insurance exchange in 2017, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The company has also decided tostay out of Georgia's health exchange in 2017, BloombergNews reported.

Thehealth insurer said in November 2015 that it was evaluating the viabilityof the insurance exchange product segment. CEO Stephen Hemsley the company was unable tosustain losses in that segment.

However, UnitedHealth's withdrawal isnot likely to meaningfullyreduce competition in Arkansas and Georgia since it was a small player inthe ACA exchange market in both states as compared to larger rivals like BlueCross Blue Shield and AetnaInc., according to the LosAngeles Times.

Theproposed rules addressing inversion transactions issued by the U.S. Departmentof Treasury on April 4 will not likely cause the merger of Towers Watson & Co. and Willis Group Holdings Plc tobe treated as an inversion, Willis Towers Watson Plc in a regulatory filing. Inaddition, Willis Towers Watson does not believe that proposed rules related tothe tax treatment of certain intercompany debt would apply to any of thecompany's currently outstanding debt, including any debt issued in connectionwith the deal.

Asper the latest market report from Lane Financial LLC, rates-on-line forinsurance-linked securities and catastrophe bonds saw a slight increase in thefirst quarter, Artemis reported.Lane Financial's synthetic rate-on-line indexclimbed by 8% to 93.1 at March 31 from 86.6 at Dec.31, 2015.

reached anagreement to acquirethe remaining 80% equity interest in Lexon Surety Group LLC and its surety-relatedaffiliates. Ironshore became a20% owner of Lexon in 2014 following its initial investment in 2013.

Jackson,Miss.-based accident-and-health insurer AmFirst Insurance Co. signaled through a recent acquisition and certaindisclosures in a regulatory filing that it may be in growth mode.

In other parts of the world

SomeIMF officials voicedsupport for the introduction of negative nominal interest rates by centralbanks, saying that such rates help deliver additional monetary stimulus andeasier financial conditions, which support demand and price stability. Theofficials noted that negative rates have limits and emphasized the need forstructural reforms and supportive fiscal policies. CityA.M. and Reutershave reports.

Amidthe fallout from the Panama Papers scandal, the European Commission isproposing that large multinationals be required to report profits and taxes inevery EU country in which they operate, accordingto The Wall Street Journal.Separately, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble suggested establishing aglobal network of registers listing the actual owners of companies in a bid tofight tax havens, Reuters writes.

agreed toacquire £6 billion ofannuities from AEGONNV's U.K. unit, Scottish Equitable Plc.

The day ahead

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

InAsia, the Hang Seng rose 0.35% to 20,440.81, while the Nikkei 225 declined0.44% to 15,751.13.

InEurope, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.10% to 6,210.78; the Euronext 100increased 0.68% to 854.67.

On the macro front    

Nonotable reports are due out today.