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Scor, Topdanmark Q3 results; Prudential completes M&G spinoff; Axa deal

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.


* Topdanmark A/S reported third-quarter after-tax profit of 285 million Danish kroner, down from 459 million kroner from a year ago. After-tax EPS for the quarter slid year over year to 3.3 kroner from 5.3 kroner. Pretax profit fell to 371 million kroner from 592 million kroner.

* French reinsurer Scor SE's consolidated net income group share increased 44.4% to €115 million in the third quarter from €80 million a year earlier. EPS rose year over year to 62 cents from 43 cents. Annualized return on equity for the quarter was 7.5%, compared to 5.4% a year ago. Gross written premiums grew to €4.05 billion from €3.80 billion.

* Finland-based Sampo Oyj is no longer placing an emphasis on annually increasing its nominal dividend per share.

Boardroom decisions

* Prudential PLC completed the demerger of M&G PLC announced in early 2018. Shareholders retained their shares in Prudential and also received shares in M&G.

* Aviva PLC issued a redemption notice for approximately £209.9 million of its 6.875% step up Tier 1 insurance capital securities.

* Aegon NV is exercising its right to redeem $1 billion of perpetual capital securities with a coupon of 6.375% issued in 2005. Redemption of the grandfathered Tier 1 securities will be effective Dec. 15, when the principal amount of $1 billion will be repaid with any accrued and unpaid interest.


* Belgian cooperative bank Crelan NV agreed to buy the Belgian banking business of French insurance group Axa SA for total consideration of €620 million, comprising €540 million in cash and the transfer of Crelan Insurance, valued at €80 million, to Axa Belgium.

* Aviva Life & Pensions UK Ltd. closed a £1.7 billion bulk annuity buy-in transaction with the Aviva Staff Pension Scheme. Aviva will insure the defined benefit pension liabilities of approximately 4,300 deferred and 1,500 current pensioner scheme members. The transaction is part of a long-term plan to de-risk the scheme, according to a statement.

* Total new worldwide funding commitments to the insurance technology sector thus far in 2019 have already beaten the full-year 2018 total, according to Willis Towers Watson PLC. Also, insurtech funding in the third quarter exceeded $1.2 billion, marking the fifth-consecutive quarter that milestone has been surpassed.

In other news

* American International Group Inc. is set to kick off a new syndicate at Lloyd's of London to serve the specialist U.S. high net worth market. Syndicate 2019 will be managed by Talbot Underwriting Ltd., the managing agency acquired by AIG in 2018, and is eyeing writing up to $1 billion in gross written premiums.

* A number of insurance segments in Germany are on course to see "positive" premium development and conditions in 2020, according to Hannover Re subsidiary E+S Rückversicherung AG.

* The Russian central bank plans to launch a guarantee scheme for the life insurance market, which will operate in a similar way to the existing bank deposit guarantee system. Under the scheme, if an insurance company goes bankrupt, its financial obligations to a client under a life insurance contract will be covered for up to 1.4 million Russian rubles from a special fund that will be formed using mandatory contributions by life insurers.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Heavy Q3 claims will put 'positive pressure' on reinsurance prices: Scor P&C CEO: Scor Global P&C head Jean-Paul Conoscente said the French reinsurer would be focused on improving its margins at the key Jan. 1 renewals, and said prices in the U.S. and Japan would also need to rise.

Parametric, green energy covers 1st out of the 'box' for Munich Re syndicate: Launching a "syndicate-in-a-box" under Lloyd's of London's new plans is a "significant piece of work," but the marketplace and Munich Re are having a "fruitful and constructive" dialogue, said senior executives of the German reinsurer's new venture.