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RLI to exit RV insurance market; Oregon invests in ACA outreach efforts

In the news

Four years after it opportunistically launched a recreational vehicle insurance program, RLI Corp. confirmed that it is exiting the market. "We began nonrenewing our RV business, which has struggled to find any level of profitability over the last four years," RLI President and COO Craig Kliethermes said during a conference call. RLI also sold renewal rights to another part of its property segment as it culled underperforming products in an effort to boost overall underwriting profitability.

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While President Donald Trump's administration has discontinued advertising and media outreach designed to encourage enrollments in the last days of the Affordable Care Act's 2017 open enrollment season, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said it will invest an additional $100,000 to expand its online marketing efforts to reach out to people statewide ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline to sign up for individual health plans.

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Confirming earlier reports, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System agreed to invest $1 billion to support Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.'s pending acquisition of Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG. The Canadian pension fund will indirectly acquire approximately 21% of the issued and outstanding shares of Allied World through the investment.

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Starting April 1, London-based insurer Beazley Plc will start underwriting large account property business in the U.S. with total insurable value exceeding $500 million, The Insurance Insider reported.

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MetLife Insurance Co. USA rejected allegations by a competitor that Brighthouse Financial Inc., the new company formed to house a substantial portion of the U.S. retail segment of MetLife Inc., infringes upon a trademark that has been in use since 2012. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans sued MetLife Insurance and Brighthouse in September 2016, claiming the use of the new name is likely to cause confusion among potential customers with its Brightpeak Financial brand through which it markets term life, disability and individual annuity products to Christian millennials. But the defendants said in their answer to the complaint that there is "no likelihood" of confusion.

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For many top U.S. life insurers, analysts are expecting higher operating EPS year over year for the fourth quarter of 2016, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

Elsewhere, according to a Barron's report, Anthem Inc. has the lowest price-to-earnings ratio among its major peers and the most room for improvement in profit margins and earnings. The insurer is significantly undervalued and has a 30% earnings upside potential resulting from proposed healthcare and tax changes, the news service noted, citing Bernstein analyst Lance Wilkes, who called Anthem the industry's "sleeping giant."

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Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc acquired a majority stake in Construction Risk Partners LLC, a construction risk and surety specialty insurance broker in the U.S.

London-based specialist private equity investor B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc has subscribed for a 30% cumulative preferred ordinary shareholding in Toronto-based Stewart Specialty Risk Underwriting Ltd.

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Aflac Inc. issued ¥60 billion in Japanese yen-denominated 0.932% senior notes due Jan. 25, 2027.

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Cheryl Gardner will become the CEO of New Mexico's health insurance exchange, beWellnm, effective March 1, the Albuquerque Business First reported.

Featured news

Piramal to buy Mallinckrodt drug portfolio; GOP worries over ACA repeal: Piramal Enterprises is acquiring a portfolio of pain management drugs from Mallinckrodt; and Republicans in Congress expressed "grave concerns" about President Trump's push to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Europe: More Co-op Bank intervention; Allianz eyes QBE; Bankia posts results

Middle East & Africa: Trump's immigration ban fallout; Al Hilal Bank CEO leaves

Latin America: BTG mulls split listings for bank, PE ops; new chief at Bansefi

The day ahead

Principal Financial Group Inc. and Reinsurance Group of America Inc. are expected to report earnings today.

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

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 slid by 0.51% to 19,368.85.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.76% to 7,129.75 and the Euronext 100 by 0.89% to 925.84.

On the macro front

The Commerce Department's personal income and outlays report, the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index and the Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey are due out today.