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Japanese insurers post mixed results; Suncorp selling Aussie life business

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Japanese insurers post mixed results; Suncorp selling Aussie life business

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.

Earnings corner

* Japanese insurers reported mixed earnings results for the quarter ended June 30. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. reported an 8.5% year-over-year decline in net income for the fiscal first quarter to ¥83.86 billion from ¥91.67 billion.

* Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. said fiscal first-quarter net income attributable to shareholders of parent dropped to ¥41.44 billion from ¥71.94 billion in the year-ago period due to the absence of one-time gains from its acquisition of shares in Janus Henderson Group PLC.

* Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co.'s consolidated net profit for the quarter rose to ¥43.55 billion from ¥35.73 billion in the year-ago quarter. Sony Life Insurance Co. Ltd. posted net income of ¥16.3 billion for the quarter, up from ¥10.1 billion a year ago.

* Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. posted a 36.8% decline in net profit for the quarter, due in part to lower premium income and higher losses on its securities holdings, as well as a rise in extraordinary losses.

* Elsewhere, Suncorp Group Ltd.'s net profit after tax for the year ended June 30 dropped to A$1.06 billion from A$1.08 billion in the prior fiscal year.

M&A buzz

* Suncorp Group signed a nonbinding heads of agreement to sell its Australian life insurance business to TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Ltd for about A$725 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, subject to certain conditions and regulatory approvals in Australia and Japan.

* The planned merger of National Insurance Co. Ltd., Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. and United India Insurance Co. Ltd. was put on hold as Indian authorities have no time to deal with the "mammoth process" of combining the three state-run general insurers.

* Prudential PLC CEO Mike Wells said the U.K-based insurer is not in any talks to sell its Asian operation and does not have any imminent plans to follow Axa in spinning off its U.S. business.

* State Bank of India's board approved the planned divestment of up to 4% of the bank's stake in SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd. to a nonpromoter entity.

In other news

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission fined Sinosafe General Insurance Co. Ltd.'s branch in Guizhou province 250,000 yuan for misreporting its premium income and claims data for two years.

* Life Insurance Corp. of India received government approval to take a 51% controlling stake in IDBI Bank Ltd.

* New Zealand's CBL Corp. Ltd.'s voluntary administrators once again postponed the watershed meeting of the CBL group companies. The meeting will now be held no later than Nov. 17 or any date prior by giving all creditors no less than five working days' notice.

* South Korea's ING Life Insurance Korea Ltd. plans to change its name to OrangeLife, effective Sept. 3.

* China United Property Insurance Co. Ltd. signed a cooperation agreement with Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s insurance broker unit WeSure on offering commercial health insurance products.

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