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Ping An Insurance raises stake in HSBC; LIC to focus on government debt

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Ping An Insurance raises stake in HSBC and other M&A updates

* Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd., through its unit Ping An Asset Management Co. Ltd., has acquired a 5.01% stake in HSBC Holdings Plc. The asset management unit acquired 10 million HSBC shares, raising its stake in the U.K.-based banking group to 5.01% from 4.96%.

* AUB Group Ltd. acquired New Zealand-based insurance brokerage Lowe Schollum & Jones Ltd. The acquisition will help AUB Group build further momentum in the New Zealand market, said AUB Group CEO and managing director Mark Searles.

* Nippon Life Insurance Co. has agreed to acquire a 24.75% minority stake in TCW Group Inc. from Carlyle Group LP. Upon closing, TCW's employee ownership will increase to 44.07%. Carlyle will maintain a significant interest in the company with its long-duration private equity fund.

Life Insurance Corp. of India to buy more government debt

* Life Insurance Corp. of India will restrict its stock investments and boost its holdings of Indian government bonds after buying 440 billion rupees of stocks in the first eight months of the year ending March 31, 2018. The state-owned insurer set a target of investing 500 billion rupees in stocks in the current fiscal year.

* LIC also sold a 2.055% stake in Bank of Baroda in an open market sale. The insurer cut its stake in the lender to 5.194% from 7.249%.

* The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India reportedly rejected a proposal for LIC to acquire an additional 15% stake in IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd. The insurance regulator cited concentration of risk in one entity as the reason for rejecting the proposal.

Regulatory moves

* The China Insurance Regulatory Commission will need to strengthen supervision and expand regulations on large internet companies, especially those holding dominant market share as market and regulatory risks have increased, said Liang Tao, vice chairman of the CIRC.

* Hong Kong's Insurance Authority signed a cooperation agreement with the Dubai Financial Services Authority to boost collaboration in supporting innovation in the financial technology space.

In other news

* Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd. agreed to partner with AmBank Islamic Bhd. to distribute Islamic insurance products through the bank's distribution channels.

* Standard Life Aberdeen Plc unit Aberdeen Standard Investments secured registration as a private securities investment fund manager in the Asset Management Association of China. The registration will allow Aberdeen Asset Management (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. to create and sell onshore private securities investment funds to institutional and high-net-worth investors in the country.

* Moody's assigned Taikang Life Insurance Co. Ltd. an A3 insurance financial strength rating after it became the main life insurance operating subsidiary of Taikang Insurance Group Inc. The rating outlook on Taikang Life is negative.

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