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Irma loss creep hits HCI; Munich Re in $380M sidecar; new Calif. auto rate rule


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Irma loss creep hits HCI; Munich Re in $380M sidecar; new Calif. auto rate rule

Maiden Holdings Ltd. mutually agreed to a partial termination amendment to its in force quota share agreement with AmTrust Financial Services Inc. that will expire June 30, 2019. Maiden will return about $700 million in gross unearned premium to AmTrust.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued a regulation prohibiting the use of gender in setting rates for private passenger car insurance in the state, effective Jan. 1.

HCI Group Inc. raised its estimated Hurricane Irma claims total to a range with a midpoint of $407 million, The Insurance Insider reported, noting that the overall "loss creep" for the company from Irma is still lower than a peer group of five listed Florida insurers. The increase was mainly attributable to bolstering reserves for assignment of benefits litigation, sources told Trading Risk.

Dutch pension fund manager PGGM and Munich Re Co. have completed a further Leo Re Ltd. private sidecar arrangement, with the issuance of a $380 million tranche of notes, Artemis reported.

In other ILS news, Hannover Re facilitated a further $40 million in private catastrophe bonds through its Bermuda-domiciled segregated accounts vehicle, Kaith Re Ltd., Artemis reported.

And Resilience Re Ltd., a private catastrophe bond issuance platform owned and operated by Willis Towers Watson PLC, completed the issuance of $88 million of zero-coupon Resilience Re Ltd. (series 1912A) notes, Artemis reported.

Nationwide Mutual Group acquired New Jersey-based privately held program manager E-Risk Services LLC in a deal that closed Jan. 1. Terms were not disclosed.

Also, Guelph, Ontario-based Co-operators Group Ltd. acquired Laval, Quebec-based insurance broker Assurances Madelein Inc., and Easton, Md.-based Shore Bancshares Inc. completed the sale of its insurance agency unit, Avon-Dixon Agency LLC, for $25.2 million in cash.

Western & Southern Financial Group Inc. closed its $1.55 billion acquisition of Gerber Life Insurance Co. from Nestlé SA on Dec. 31, 2018.

Axa Equitable Holdings Inc. transferred the interests in AllianceBernstein Holding LP held directly or indirectly by AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. to a newly created wholly owned subsidiary.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. declared an annual dividend of US$10 per share on its outstanding multiple voting and subordinate voting shares.

Nordic insurers are counting the cost of Storm Alfrida, which battered the coasts of Denmark and southern Sweden on New Year's Day and Jan. 2. Tryg A/S received some 500 individual claim notices for damage connected to Alfrida from customers in Denmark, Berlingske Tidende reported.

Australia's Freedom Insurance Group Ltd. expects to report a loss of between A$9 million and A$10 million for the first half ended December 2018, Insurance Business reported. The company said the expected loss reflects lower-than-anticipated net revenue due to higher commission clawbacks and higher one-off external consultant costs.

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European insurers 'disappointed' as work continues to iron out Solvency II kinks: Insurers and regulators will have to wait for the 2020 review to see the changes they want to Europe's 3-year-old insurance capital regime.

Large M&A deals sailed through a stormy 2018: Globally, companies announced 103 deals with a transaction value of at least $5 billion in 2018, which is the second-highest total since 2007, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data as of Dec. 28, 2018.

AbbVie, Jazz enter cancer team-ups; Novavax flu vaccine beats Sanofi's in trial: AbbVie and Jazz Pharmaceuticals entered separate collaborations with privately held companies to develop cancer therapies, and Novavax said its vaccine NanoFlu "elicited vigorous immune responses" to four influenza virus strains in a phase 2 trial.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Goldman Sachs veteran to head SoftBank investment unit; AMMB sells NPLs

Europe: Italy may clear Banca Carige bad loans; ex-Credit Suisse bankers arrested

Middle East & Africa: Leumi mulls listing US banking unit; KCB to double home loans by 2020-end

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 2.24% to 25,626.03, while the Nikkei 225 was down 2.26% to 19,561.96.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 1.40% to 6,786.47, and the Euronext 100 was up 1.25% to 908.69.

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 Employment Situation report, the PMI Services Index, the EIA Natural Gas Report, the EIA Petroleum Status Report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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