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Munich Re plane crash exposure; NRA to question ex-regulator; Allianz deal talk


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Munich Re plane crash exposure; NRA to question ex-regulator; Allianz deal talk

A judge allowed the U.S. National Rifle Association to question former New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo under oath over the alleged targeting of the gun rights organization and its Carry Guard insurance program in the state, Bloomberg News reported. The New York regulator declared the product unlawful after an investigation.

Munich Re Co. estimates that it will have a claims bill of between €100 million and €120 million from the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash, according to CEO of reinsurance Torsten Jeworrek. He said Munich Re's claims would come both through its participation in the Global Aerospace pool and through risks it had underwritten directly.

The California Earthquake Authority increased the size of its reinsurance program to a record high of $8.13 billion at the end of 2018, Artemis reported. The authority also anticipates savings of about $30 million in reinsurance costs following the passage of a bill that would place a surcharge on existing policyholders should a major seismic event drain its other sources of capital, The Insurance Insider reported.

AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. announced that the secondary public offering of 40 million of its common shares by Axa was priced at $20.50 per share. Axa Equitable will buy back a further 30 million shares from Axa at the same price, or a total of about $615 million.

Vienna Insurance Group AG reported a fourth-quarter 2018 net result after noncontrolling interests of €61.9 million, down from €82.6 million in the prior year. It also adopted a new dividend policy, defining a payout ratio in the range of 30% to 50% of group profits after taxes and non-controlling interests.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. subsidiary Alesco Risk Management Services Ltd. will arrange a $3.5 billion reinsurance facility for all international upstream energy insurance programs written from Equatorial Guinea.

Norsk Hydro ASA CFO Eivind Kallevik said the Norwegian aluminum maker has cyber insurance coverage in place after suffering a ransomware attack, the Insider also reported. The policy includes business interruption coverage.

Allianz Group will consider asset management acquisitions, such as that of Deutsche Bank's DWS, but only if a deal brings in new capabilities, CFO Giulio Terzariol told the Financial Times. The company's main acquisition focus is on retail property and casualty insurance, he added.

The U.K. government is preparing to implement its plans for a no-deal Brexit on March 25, four days before the country is expected to leave the EU, unless a delay to the departure is finalized by that time, the Financial Times reported, citing Whitehall officials. Prime Minister Theresa May last night urged members of Parliament to approve her deal with the EU, after European Council President Donald Tusk said earlier in the day that the short-term delay May requested could only be granted if a withdrawal agreement were approved.

A multiyear data project covering claims and disputes funded by Australian life insurers is expected to enhance industry transparency and result in better policy design and consumer satisfaction, an industry association CEO said.

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AIG reverses recent trend, releases commercial auto reserves in 2018: Of the 20 largest commercial auto liability insurers, 14 companies took reserve charges in 2018, led by Liberty Mutual and Travelers with $252.6 million and $249.0 million, respectively, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

Biogen, Eisai drop late-stage Alzheimer's trials; flu vaccines better in '18-'19: Biogen and Eisai will discontinue the phase 3 studies evaluating aducanumab in patients with forms of Alzheimer's disease; and the effectiveness of this season's flu vaccine was slightly higher in comparison to the flu season of 2017-18.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Thailand keeps rate steady; Vietinbank to divest Saigon Bank shares

Europe: 'Brextension' sought; UBS warns on profit; BayernLB gets new CEO

Middle East & Africa: Standard Bank names chief risk officer; Barclays Bank of Kenya raided

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng declined 0.85% to 29,071.56, while the Nikkei 225 is closed.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.62% to 7,335.92, and the Euronext 100 rose 0.03% to 1,044.26.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook survey, the leading indicators report, the quarterly services survey, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

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