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China tightens insurers' reporting rules; Kyobo Life mulls options for unit

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 and updates

* The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission tightened actuarial reporting rules for life insurance firms to strengthen their liability management and prevent financial risk. Life insurers will need to submit annual actuarial reports by April 30, while 2017's annual actuarial reports should be submitted by Sept. 30.

* Malaysia regulators are reportedly expected to review and possibly suspend a directive requiring overseas insurers to cut their stakes in their local insurance units to up to 70%.

* Xiang Junbo, former chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, was reportedly accused of accepting bribes of more than 19.4 million yuan at a trial in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

* Myanmar's insurance sector is reportedly expected to get guidance and personnel support from the Japanese government as the Southeast Asian country received a broad support plan, including advice on insurance regulations and practices, from Japan.

M&A activities

* South Korea's Kyobo Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is considering options for its stake in Kyobo Securities Co. Ltd., including a sale. Kyobo Securities expects to provide an update on any development by July 11.

* Japan's Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. is reportedly leading the race to acquire the life insurance operations of Suncorp Group Ltd.

* Australia-based PSC Insurance Group Ltd. will take a 19.6% to 19.9% stake in U.K.-based private equity investor B.P. Marsh & Partners PLC for about £18.5 million.

* The board of ICICI Bank Ltd. approved its plan to off-load up to a 2% stake in its life insurance joint venture, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Expansions and ventures

* Germany's ARAG Holding SE has been analyzing whether to expand its operations in Australia, which it expects to do at some point in 2018.

* India's insurance regulator granted U.K.-based Markel International Ltd. a license to write reinsurance business in the country. Markel's Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd's will provide it the capacity and it will write the reinsurance business through Lloyd's India platform.

* Japan's Sompo Holdings Inc. reportedly launched a new unit handling big data with startups, big companies and government agencies. The new unit, named D Studio, was launched June 13.

* Indian stock exchange BSE Ltd. and U.S.-based insurance exchange Ebix Inc. reportedly plan to launch an insurance distribution exchange platform by the end of 2018.

In other news

* The insurance businesses of Japan's Rakuten Inc., including Rakuten Life Insurance, Rakuten SS Insurance Co. Ltd. and Asahi Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd., will establish an immediate stock holding company called Rakuten Insurance Holdings Co. Ltd. through an intra-group stock transfer.

* China Reinsurance (Group) Corp. and CSC Financial Co., Ltd. signed an agreement to work together in insurance, reinsurance and asset management.

* China Life Insurance (Group) Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. reportedly signed an agreement to work together in insurance, finance and IT.