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Hartford curbs coal projects; PG&E's new proposal; fires destroy Australian town


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Hartford curbs coal projects; PG&E's new proposal; fires destroy Australian town

Creditors of PG&E Corp. unit Pacific Gas and Electric Co. proposed new commitments to wildfire victims, including payment of their full claim of $13.5 billion in cash upfront, compared to the debtors' plan of $5.4 billion cash upfront and partial compensation through share ownership in the reorganized company.

There is "not much left" of the town of Balmoral, southwest of Sydney, because of Australia's bushfires, BBC News reported. A number of small towns suffered significant damage during the weekend.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. will no longer insure or invest in companies that generate more than a quarter of their revenues from thermal coal mining or more than 25% of their energy production from coal itself. The company will also stop insuring and investing in companies that generate more than 25% of their revenues directly from the extraction of oil from tar sands.

The U.K.'s Prudential Regulation Authority imposed new whistleblowing requirements on Lloyd's of London following a voluntary application from Lloyd's.

OMERS, the pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees, will acquire a 40% interest in Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.'s runoff group, RiverStone Insurance (UK) Ltd. The cash purchase price of at least $560 million will result in Fairfax Financial recording a gain of approximately $280 million before tax, subject to certain book value adjustments at closing.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand approved TOWER Insurance Ltd.'s pending purchase of Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Ltd. unit Youi NZ Pty Ltd.'s insurance portfolio.

Health Insurance Innovations Inc. said the focus for its individual and family plan business will be to maximize cash flows and enhance e-commerce capabilities. The existing book of IFP business, including policies in force and expected renewals, will realize approximately $170 million of net cash flows from existing contract assets and commissions payable.

NFP Corp. appointed Greg Padovani president, John Belyea COO and Marty Shaw chief strategy officer for its operations in Canada.

Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC appointed Patrick Schepens CEO for the region of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, or Benelux, effective April 2020.

LV=, a trademark of the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd., appointed Mark Hartigan CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Also, the supervisory board of ASR Nederland NV intends to appoint Annemiek van Melick CFO, effective Feb. 1, 2020.

Michelle McPherson resigned as CFO and deputy CEO of Australia-based Nib Holdings Ltd.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Managed care stocks rise despite court ruling against ACA individual mandate: For the week ending Dec. 20, the S&P 500 rose 1.65% to a record-high 3,221.22, while the SNL U.S. Insurance Index climbed 1.43% to 1,172.83.

Wave of institutional divestment from coal mining, generation develops in 2019: Coal producers may have more difficulty accessing capital as institutions increasingly move away from coal financing.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Amundi wins approval for China JV; Apollo, others shortlisted for UDC Finance

Europe: Bailey named BoE governor; CaixaBank, BBVA off-load bad loans; new CEO at Carige

Middle East & Africa: South Africa sanctions 5 banks; Letshego sees higher profit; S&P affirms Lebanon

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.13% to 27,906.41, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.02% to 23,821.11.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.46% to 7,617.20, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.07% to 1,153.34.

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 durable goods orders report, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index and the new home sales report are due out today.

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