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Industry reacts to FIO's auto insurance affordability metric; Dai-ichi Life eyes more US deals

Inthe news

The Federal Insurance Office of the U.S. TreasuryDepartment adopted amethodology for gauging the affordability of automobile insurance that some in theindustry say ignores risk factors and is potentially overreaching. The FIOstated in a Federal Register notice that personal auto liability insurance "ispresumed to be affordable" if it does not exceed a certain percentage ofmedian income.

For Dai-ichiLife Insurance Co. Ltd., which remains on the hunt for moreacquisitions in the U.S. to build on the 2015 purchase of Alabama-basedProtective Life Corp.,there likely will be plenty ofdeal opportunities in the market.

Results of an A.M. Best survey show that approximatelythree-fourths of insurers are expecting a lowerreturn on equity due to intense industry competition and slow economicgrowth. Insurers see low interest rates as the biggest industry threat,followed by increased regulations, competition and antiquated business models.A small percentage of insurers see the outcome of the presidential race as athreat.

Some alternative reinsurance executives dismissed thenotion that a significant amount of the insurance-linked securities capitalwill exit the sector should a large loss event happen, Artemis reported.

AmeripriseFinancial Inc., ArgoGroup International Holdings Ltd., ,Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd.and Cincinnati Financial Corp.disclosed theirestimated for the .

BerkshireHathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett gave away another roughly $2.86billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock he owns to the Bill & MelindaGates Foundation and four family charities, Reuters reported.

Financial news in other partsof the world

Asia-Pacific:FDIC may have covered up hackingattempts; Moody's keeps Taiwan's rating

MiddleEast & Africa: Downturn inAfrican insurance; S&P grim on GCC

Europe:BoE signals August stimulus;Erste Group Q2 profit guidance; more UniCredit capital raising likely

The day ahead

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

InAsia, the Hang Seng increased 0.46% to 21,659.25, and the Nikkei 225 was up0.68% to 16,497.85.

InEurope, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.37% to 6,629.85, and theEuronext 100 was down 0.74% to 861.29.

On the macro front

Theconsumer price index, the retail sales report, the Empire State manufacturingsurvey, the industrial production report, the business inventories report andthe consumer sentiment report are due out today.