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China eases rules for foreign insurers; AIA closes New Zealand deal

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China eases rules for foreign insurers; AIA closes New Zealand deal

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.

Regulatory developments

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission relaxed rules for foreign insurance brokers and loss adjusters doing business in the country. The regulator said foreign insurance brokers and loss adjusters that have at least three years of operating history can apply to do business in China.

* Separately, the CBIRC issued a regulatory letter to ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co. Ltd. over its investment issues. Meanwhile, ZhongAn Online Insurance Broker Co. Ltd., a unit of the company, obtained approval from the watchdog to engage in the insurance brokerage business.

* Thailand's insurance regulator reportedly released draft guidelines relating to the sale of insurance products in the country. The guidelines would require insurance companies to create a written plan and develop a working committee in connection with product sales.

* South Korean regulators rolled out new regulations on groupwide risk management and capital adequacy requirements for conglomerates holding at least 5 trillion won in financial assets and units in two or more financial sectors.

M&A corner

* Hong Kong-based AIA Group Ltd. completed the acquisition of Commonwealth Bank of Australia's life insurance business in New Zealand.

* The Insurance Regulatory Authority of India board reportedly decided to allow Life Insurance Corp. of India to raise its stake in IDBI Bank Ltd. to 51% from 8%.

* Meanwhile, most bidders in the planned sale of IDBI Bank's 48% stake in IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd. withdrew as LIC is poised to become a major financial investor in the bank.

* Canada's Sun Life Financial Inc. is considering raising its stake in Chinese joint venture Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance Co. Ltd. to between 49% and 51% from the current 25%.

* PFP Holdings Pte. Ltd., a unit of New Zealand's CBL Corp. Ltd., agreed to sell its U.K.-based fee protection insurance business, Professional Fee Protection Ltd., to U.S. private equity firms Highbridge Principal Strategies and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC.

Partnerships

* Chubb Life Insurance Vietnam Co. Ltd. and Vietnam Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank entered into a 10-year bancassurance partnership.

* Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. will start selling Sony Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s U.S. dollar-denominated whole life insurance and endowment insurance as part of a business partnership.

* Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. signed strategic alliance agreements with Kenya's ICEA Lion General Insurance Co. Ltd. and International Commercial and Engineering Seguros, or ICE, in Mozambique to serve customers doing business in East and Southeast Africa.

In other news

* Nepal Reinsurance Co. Ltd. is reportedly launching an IPO worth 1.28 billion rupees.

* South Korea's KDB Life Insurance Co. Ltd. plans to list its shares before seeking to find a buyer for a controlling stake in the company.

* Indonesia-based PT Asuransi Harta Aman Pratama Tbk is seeking to raise its paid-in capital to 147 billion rupiah through a rights issue.

* China's Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. made changes to its structure by transferring internally shares of six listed companies that it owns. Anbang Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Ltd. agreed to transfer part of its stake in China Merchants Bank Co. Ltd. to affiliate Hexie Health Insurance Co. Ltd.

* Insurance Australia Group Ltd. in New Zealand reportedly ceased the practice of rewarding employees based on their ability to reach sales targets.

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