This weekly article offers acompilation of noteworthy stories on insurance companies in the Asia-Pacificregion. Some items may be linked to third-party articles.
Insurance deals taking shape: Potential insurance deals inthe Asia-Pacific region are beginning to take shape as discussions amonginvolved parties progress and details begin to emerge.
Three Chinese companies are reportedly moving forward intheir pursuit to acquireING Life Insurance Korea Ltd.from private equity firm MBKPartners Ltd.
China's JDCapital Co. Ltd., FosunInternational Ltd. and TaipingLife Insurance Co. Ltd. are in talks or conducting due diligence topotentially purchase the South Korean insurer.
However, an official at a public relations agency for MBKPartners said the report was incorrect and declined to elaborate further astalks are still ongoing.
Malaysia'sHong Leong Financial Group Bhd.is said to be in talkswith Canada's Sun Life FinancialInc. and Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional aboutthe potential sale of its insurance business.
Thereport came after Hong Leong in June received regulatory approval to startnegotiations with certain parties for a sale of 70% stake in and 65%stake in Hong Leong MSIG Takaful Bhd. While the Malaysian firm did not name theparties then, the recent media report suggested that Sun Life and KhazanahNasional areconsidering making a joint offer for the assets.
Meanwhile,promoters of Max FinancialServices Ltd. and MaxLife Insurance Co. Ltd. are said to be asking a from as a condition for their planned merger. The amount of the proposed fee isstill being negotiated.
Ifthe deal pushes through, the HDFC Group will likely own a 65% in the mergedentity, while the remaining 35% will be owned by Max Group.
InChina, a new insurance company could receive an from Russian insurerPAO Rosgosstrakh. TheRussian insurer is said to be considering investing in Guohe Life Insurance, anew Chinese life insurer that is being set up by Anxin Trust. The investmentwould mark Rosgosstrakh's entry into the Chinese life insurance market.
Indian insurers prepare forIPO:ICICI Prudential Life InsuranceCo. Ltd. moved ahead with its plans to list after it a preliminary prospectusfor its proposed IPO .
ICICIPrudential Life is a joint venture between ICICI Bank Ltd. and the U.K.'s . The Indian lender willsell around 12.65% of the insurer's equity shares through the IPO.
Inwhat may become the biggest IPO in India in six years, the listing is expectedto raise as much as US$745 million, according to a report.
ICICIPrudential Life is not the only Indian insurer seeking to conduct an IPO.United India Insurance Co. Ltd.is said to be in the initialstage of its 15 billion rupee public offer. The sale could alsoresult in the government divesting less than 10% of its shares in the company.
Themove came after the government proposed to list the country's four publicsector general insurance firms, including United India Insurance.
The following is abreakdown of articles by region, based on the geographic origins of stories.
* Dai-ichi LifeInsurance Co. Ltd. is reportedly planning to US$2.5 billion of perpetual bonds,the biggest issuance of such bonds by a local life insurer. The insurer is alsoinvesting ¥500million in Keio Innovation Initiative 1 LPS, a venture fund which primarilyinvests in IT startups and venture companies.
* FubonFinancial Holding Co. Ltd.'s insurance unit property assets in Taipei forNT$4 billion.
* A report from Swiss Re showed that South Koreans paid morethan a combined US$3,000 per policy holder in insurance premiums in the fiscalyear ended March 31, Yonhap News Agency reported.South Korea occupied the 18th position on Swiss Re's list of countries withhighest premium per person paid. At the top of the list was the Cayman Islandswhere premium per person totaled US$12,619, while Hong Kong stood at 3rd placewith US$6,271.
* A.M. Best affirmedthe financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of "a+"of Dongbu Insurance Co. Ltd.The outlook for each rating remains stable.
* IndiaFirst Life Insurance, a joint venture between twoIndian banks and a U.K.-based insurance underwriter, is with Nainital Bank todistribute insurance products.
* The government of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinceis planning to launch its own insurance company in a bid to reduce investmentrisk and restore investor confidence in the province, The International News reported.Pervez Khattak, chief minister of the province, said the government will alsocome up with a strategy to protect foreign investors' investments inpotentially rich sectors in the province.
* AtriumUnderwriters Ltd.'s Lloyd'sof London Syndicate609 is closingits Singapore platform. Atrium will continue to manage its business in Asiathrough its London office.
* AmericanInternational Group Inc.'s Thai business will launch the country'sfirst cyber insurance policy for companies in the telecommunication, banking,hospital and hotel industries, The Nationreported.The policy aims to cover damages from hackers, as well as lawsuits from thirdparties. The new product will be launched in the third quarter.
* Dai-ichi Life Insurance plans to a representative office in PhnomPenh, Cambodia. The move will make Dai-ichi Life the first Japanese lifeinsurer to have a presence in the Southeast Asian country.
AUSTRALIA AND NEWZEALAND
* A.M. Best has affirmedthe financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of"a-" of TOWER InsuranceLtd. The rating agency alsoaffirmed the ICR of "bbb-" of the ultimate parent,
* AllianzAustralia Ltd. appointedGlen Drinnan as general manager for corporate and New Zealand in the insurer'sbroker and agency division. It also namedJulie Mitchell general manager of Victoria workers compensation.
* SuncorpGroup Ltd. appointedPatrick Farrell as head of investment. Farrell was previously chief investmentofficer and head of advance asset management at 's wealthmanagement arm, BT Financial Group.
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Data DispatchAsia-Pacific: Dai-ichi Life may pick up more US business from insurers cuttingassets: Dai-ichi Life Insurance remains on the hunt for moreacquisitions in the U.S. despite uncertainties brought about the upcoming U.S.election and the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union. The Japaneseinsurer mandated unit ProtectiveLife Corp. to continue to expand through deals.