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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.

M&A corner

* Insurance Australia Group Ltd. is eyeing selling a stake in its joint venture with State Bank of India, SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd. IAG, which owns 26% of the general insurer, has reportedly started talks to hire an investment bank that will manage the process.

* South Korea-based Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. received regulatory approval from the country's Financial Services Commission to acquire a majority stake in Orange Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

* Scottish asset manager Aberdeen Standard Investments has acquired a minority stake in Singapore Life Pte. Ltd. for US$13 million. The transaction will not give Aberdeen Standard Investments a seat on the insurer's board.

Ventures and regulatory activities

* ZhongAn Technologies International Group Ltd., a unit of China's ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co. Ltd., and Grab Holdings Inc. will form a joint venture to enter the digital insurance distribution business in Southeast Asia.

* India's insurance regulator accepted the application of Indiabulls Integrated Services Ltd. unit Indiabulls Life Insurance Co. Ltd. to register its proposed life insurance business.

In other news

* The World Bank increased its disaster risk insurance coverage for the Philippines to US$390 million from US$206 million, effective Dec. 19, 2018, The Philippine Star reported. The program aims to disburse funds faster to aid in the recovery process following a major typhoon or earthquake.

* A transport ministry panel in Japan wants local authorities to require cyclists a liability insurance given the rising number of cycling-related accidents resulting in death or serious injuries, Jiji Press reported.

* Japan will limit the coverage of the nation's health insurance program to eligible dependents living in the country, to prevent its misuse once the labor market opens to more foreign workers, The Mainichi reported. The change aims to prevent foreign workers from enrolling family members who are living outside of Japan to the government's insurance program.

* The Office of Insurance Commission in Thailand estimates the country's insurance industry to have generated an annual premium of 862.1 billion baht in 2018, up 5.3% from 2017, Asia Insurance Review reported.