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Icahn opposes AmTrust's go-private deal; Frontline sponsors 1st cat bond


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Icahn opposes AmTrust's go-private deal; Frontline sponsors 1st cat bond

Activist investor Carl Icahn is "strongly against" the pending acquisition that would take AmTrust Financial Services Inc. private. In a letter to the AmTrust board, Icahn called the transaction "opportunistic," writing that the AmTrust CEO Barry Karfunkel and George Karfunkel and Leah Karfunkel are "blatantly taking advantage of AmTrust's minority shareholders."

Frontline Insurance is sponsoring its first catastrophe bond, Frontline Re Ltd. series 2018-1, Artemis reported. The cat bond has an initial size of $350 million.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment that Ohio's application for a state innovation waiver under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act is not complete and needs revision. The application lacks a "description of any program implementing a waiver plan for providing coverage that meets section 1332 requirements" In addition, Ohio has not stated the reason to seek a waiver, the CMS said.

Health insurers present in the Affordable Care Act individual market saw their "best financial year" in 2017 thanks to adequate premium increases and slow growth in claims for medical expenses, according to an analysis done by Kaiser Family Foundation using annual financial data from 2017. However, President Donald Trump administration's decision to stop making cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurers; the repeal of the individual mandate penalty as part of tax reform; and proposed regulations to expand short-term insurance plans create new challenges for insurers in the ACA market, the analysis found.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed new legislation into law that provides an onshore affiliated reinsurance alternative to insurance companies affected by the imposition of the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax, or BEAT, on reinsurance ceded to offshore affiliates.

Enstar Group Ltd. has completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares and warrants of KaylaRe Holdings Ltd., following the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

Markel Corp.'s board approved a program that will allow the company to repurchase up to $300 million of its common shares.

Intact Financial Corp. launched an offering of 8 million noncumulative rate reset class A shares, series 7, at C$25.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of C$200 million. The underwriters of the offering purchased an additional 2 million of the shares, increasing the offering size to 10 million shares.

Featured news

AstraZeneca Q1 profit plummets; US approves Amgen, Novartis' migraine drug: AstraZeneca's first-quarter core EPS was 48 cents, down 51% year over year; and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Amgen and Novartis' Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraine headaches in adults.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Hong Kong fines Citi unit; Indonesia hikes rate; ANZ to exit Cambodian JV

Europe: iZettle sold for $2.2B; Lloyds cuts Irish exposure; BPCE, Natixis post profits

Middle East & Africa: Israel Discount Bank's Q1 profit up 5.3% YOY; Egypt's central bank holds rates

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.34% to 31,047.91, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.40% to 22,930.36.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.17% to 7,775.10, while the Euronext 100 was up 0.10% to 1,084.48.

On the macro front

The Baker-Hughes Rig Count report is due out today.

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