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Argo logs cat losses; W.R. Berkley drops unit sale; Guy Carp forms new division


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Argo logs cat losses; W.R. Berkley drops unit sale; Guy Carp forms new division

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. estimated preliminary pretax catastrophe losses of $32 million, net of ceded reinsurance recoverables and reinstatement premiums, for the fourth quarter of 2018.

W. R. Berkley Corp. dropped its plan to off-load wholesale brokerage subsidiary Breckenridge Insurance Group Inc., with market contacts saying the business was priced "too highly," The Insurance Insider reported.

Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., formed a new unit, Global Capital Solutions Group, and appointed senior leaders to the subsidiary in relation to the acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC.

The capsizing of the MV Star Centurion after a collision with product tanker Antea near Indonesia is expected to cost insurers, including Gard, approximately $100 million, The Insurance Insider reported. The pipelaying vessel is reportedly insured for about $175 million.

LM Funding America completed the acquisition of medical insurance broker IIU Inc. from Craven House Capital PLC for approximately $5.1 million.

Lloyd's of London is asking managing agents to provide more quarterly information so it can track performance against plans as part of its continuing effort to improve syndicate profitability.

HCI Group Inc.'s board of directors approved a dividend of 40 cents per common share for the first quarter, up from the previous payout of 37.5 cents per share.

Insurance technology Ledger Investing closed a non-standard auto insurance securitization with American International Group Inc.-owned ILS fund manager AlphaCat Managers Ltd., Artemis reported.

Severe weather caused C$1.9 billion in insured losses in 2018 across Canada, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. The figure was the fourth-highest on record, but as with elsewhere in the world, it was the result of an accumulation of smaller losses, rather than one major catastrophe.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Zurich's $100M cyber claim battle could trigger policy overhaul: Cyber underwriters may need to be clearer about how they intend to use war exclusions if Zurich successfully avoids a claim from U.S. food giant Mondelez for the NotPetya malware attack.

US IPOs head into turbulent markets complicated by government shutdown: The partial government shutdown, now the longest on record, coupled with market volatility mean 2019 may not be a banner year for IPOs, advisers said.

Likely 2019 decline in insurance M&A volume may lag historical precedents: S&P Global Market Intelligence's outlook for U.S. and Bermuda insurance carrier M&A activity in 2019 calls for a less dramatic decline in deal volume than history would suggest in the wake of a particularly active 2018.

US FDA trims staff amid shutdown; Lilly's Lartruvo fails late-stage study: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is sending more of its workers home during the government shutdown; and Eli Lilly's rare cancer drug Lartruvo failed to clear a late-sage study that was required to maintain its temporary regulatory approval.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: SWIFT to set up Beijing unit; Indonesia keeps key rate

Europe: RBS to buy back government shares; CaixaBank to cut jobs; Nasdaq eyes Oslo Børs

Middle East & Africa: NBK posts FY'18 profit rise; Angola to close more banks; South Africa holds rate

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 1.25% to 27,090.81, and the Nikkei 225 rose 1.29% to 20,666.07.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.40% to 6,930.93, and the Euronext 100 was up 1.52% to 949.88.

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 industrial production report, the consumer sentiment report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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