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Zurich to acquire ANZ's life insurance biz; National Insurance gets IPO nod


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Zurich to acquire ANZ's life insurance biz; National Insurance gets IPO nod

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.

Zurich enters deal to buy ANZ's Australian life business, other M&A updates

* Zurich Insurance Group AG has agreed to acquire Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.'s life insurance business, OnePath Life Ltd., for US$2.14 billion, or A$2.85 billion. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

* Some analysts expect the deal to boost the Australian bank's capital position and support its credit profile, despite the resulting increased reliance on the domestic retail banking business. Meanwhile, Moody's said the A$2.85 billion sale is credit positive for both companies.

* Malaysia-based AMMB Holdings Bhd. is reportedly considering selling its stake in unit AmGeneral Insurance Bhd., in a bid to exit its noncore businesses and focus on its main banking operations.

* Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. received all regulatory approvals to complete a purchase agreement under which Mitsui Sumitomo will acquire Fairfax's 97.7% interest in Singapore-based First Capital Insurance Ltd.

India's National Insurance wins IPO approval, other regulatory activities

* India-based National Insurance Co. Ltd. obtained in-principle approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India for its proposed IPO.

* The China Insurance Regulatory Commission is mulling revising its insurance security fund rules. Under the revised draft rules, insurers will be required to submit a certain proportion of capital to the fund based on an assessment of their risk management capability.

* Japan's Financial Services Agency will review a post-merger integration of recent large-scale overseas M&A by life and general insurers.

In other news

* Life Insurance Corp. of India said after-tax net profit for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30 climbed to 37.8 million rupees from 27.6 million rupees in the prior-year quarter.

* Moody's changed its outlook for Japanese life insurers over the next 12 to 18 months to stable from negative despite continuing ultralow interest rates.

* S&P Global Ratings expects the profitability of Asia-Pacific life insurers to remain under pressure in 2018. The rating agency said that some insurers may seek new capital and cheaper funding sources. Investment risks will also rise as insurers continue to pursue yield.

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