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In This List

Australia ice and fire; airline insurance prices up; pet insurance market growth

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Australia ice and fire; airline insurance prices up; pet insurance market growth

The Insurance Council of Australia said insurance losses from hail storms that struck eastern Melbourne, the Australian Capital Territory and parts of New South Wales on Sunday and Monday are estimated at A$320 million. Insurers have received more than 29,000 claims, about two-thirds of which are for damage to motor vehicles. A catastrophe has been declared.

Airline insurance prices rose 25% on average in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to estimates by broking group Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. The broker said average prices for airline hull and liability cover increased by 20% for the full 2019 year but were higher in the last quarter.

Moody's continues to expect prices to firm in 2020 following the January reinsurance renewals, driven by an industry-wide reassessment of risk and return and rising claims and losses on certain casualty lines, among others.

QBE North America appointed Christopher Castaldo CFO, effective in March.

Brown & Brown Inc. subsidiary Hull & Co. LLC acquired substantially all of the assets of Texas All Risk. The target is made up of All Risk General Agency Inc., Select General Agency LLC, TARGA Investment Corp., TARGA Premium Finance Co. Inc. and Texas All Risk General Agency Inc.

Davies Group Ltd. agreed to acquire British insurance-focused law firm Keoghs LLP for an undisclosed sum.

DARAG Insurance Guernsey Ltd. reached a loss portfolio transfer agreement with a multinational insurance company with subject reserves of over $100 million.

Chaucer PLC promoted James Wright to chief risk officer, effective April 1. He succeeds Penny Shaw, who will step down from the role March 31.

Adrian Montague will retire as chairman of U.K.-based Aviva PLC in 2020, once a successor has been appointed.

MassMutual Ventures LLC launched its second $100 million fund for Southeast Asia. The fund will target investments in the digital health, financial technology and enterprise software sectors.

China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. said its estimated net profit attributable to equityholders for 2019 will increase by between 400% and 420%, compared to 2018.

India's slowing economic growth will be a drag on insurance premium growth over the next two to three years, although supportive measures by the insurance regulator will help even things up, Moody's said. A government program aiming to provide 100 million families with health insurance coverage each year will likely lead to higher premiums.

The size of the global pet insurance market is projected to rise to $11.25 billion by 2026, with annual growth of 8.0% from 2019, according to a Fortune Business Insights report. The increasing pet adoption in leading countries across the world will have a direct impact on the growth of the market, it added.

Over 1,000 financial companies based in the EU are looking to establish offices in the U.K. to keep serving clients in the country after Brexit, Reuters reported, citing regulatory consultancy Bovill.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Jan. 1 reinsurance renewals expose market pressures: Low interest rates, catastrophe losses and U.S. casualty woes mean the performance of reinsurers has started to diverge, prompting some changes in buying behavior at the key renewals date.

UnitedHealth climbs after earnings release; reinsurance, P&C stocks rise: The SNL U.S. Insurance Index climbed 1.52% to 1,197.35, while the S&P 500 rose 1.97% to an all-time record close of 3,329.62 for the week of Jan. 17.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Hana Financial board OKs insurer buy; 3 Indian banks appoint heads

Europe: UBS revises targets as FY'19 profit falls; JPMorgan speeds up Brexit plans

Middle East & Africa: NBK FY'19 profit up YOY; PE firm seeks controlling stake in Isracard

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng decreased 2.81% to 27,985.33, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.91% to 23,864.56.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 1.00% to 7,574.58, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.03% to 1,159.19.

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

No reports are due out today.

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