May 2013

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Asia: Political risk levels moderate in Asia - Aon

Political risk has moderated in Asia as institutional reforms and economic growth in the region continue, according to Aon's Political Risk Map for 2013.

Asian investors not confident it is time to invest

The inaugural Manulife Investor Sentiment Index in Asia (Manulife ISI), based on 3,500 interviews across seven Asia markets (see table), shows that investors in developed Asia are not confident it is the right time to invest, with Hong Kong and Taiwan the most pessimistic.

Asia Capital Re opens Dubai branch office

Asia Capital Re has opened a branch office in Dubai. The branch - Asia Capital Re's second branch office after Hong Kong - is located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and it started operation with effect from 1 April 2013.

Asia: HSBC to sign deal with AXA and QBE again

HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, has entered into an agreement to sell its group term life insurance and group medical insurance portfolios in Singapore to AXA Life Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd.

Asia: XL Group sets up Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore

XL Group has announced plans to restructure its insurance operations in Asia Pacific. It will create an Asia Pacific insurance region headquartered in Singapore which will integrate its operations in Australia, Singapore, Labuan, Hong Kong and China.

Australia: ICA welcomes recommendations on taxes, flood covers and insurance subsidies

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has welcomed the Productivity Commission's Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation report.

Bangladesh: Govt approves 60% foreign equity in firms

With an aim to attract FDIs into the Bangladesh insurance market, the Bank and Financial Division of the Ministry of Finance of the Bangladesh Government has fixed the FDI limit in Bangladesh's insurance sector at 60% of the paid-up capital in any insurance company, thereby giving the foreign investor a controlling stake in the company.

Chinese government will help H7N9 rural patients

The Chinese government has pledged to help rural people infected with H7N9 virus to have access to medical treatment and to ease their economic burden from the treatment.

China has bigger role in international maritime

The increasing importance of China-anchored, intra-Asia trade is fundamentally changing global trade patterns and the maritime industry, said Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, at the Sea Asia 2013.

China: Ping An to buy Lloyd's building

Ping An is set to pay GBP260 million (US$398.45 million) to Commerzbank to buy over the iconic Lloyd's building in London, said industry sources.

China hit by Nat CAT economic losses of US$3.72 bln in 1Q

Nat CATs in China resulted in direct economic losses of CNY23.1 billion (US$3.72 billion) for the first quarter of 2013, according to industry sources which cited the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

India: Awareness campaign launched for non-life

The General Insurance Council (GIC), supported by the IRDA, has launched a two-month pan-India insurance awareness campaign across the country to spread awareness on the need for risk covers.

Ironshore's Lloyd's syndicate enters Japan

Ironshore International's Lloyd's Pembroke Syndicate has received regulatory approval from the Japanese Financial Services Authority to offer Representations & Warranties coverage through Lloyd's Japan.

South Korea: FSS to speed up disciplinary measures

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) will speed up the process of punishing financial companies and their CEOs involved in wrongdoing, as the new FSS Governor targets to slash the time for pushing charges from two years to less than five months, said a local media.

Malaysia: Sun Life, Khazanah complete CIMB Aviva acquisition

Sun Life and Khazanah Nasional have completed their acquisition of CIMB Aviva following regulatory approvals in Malaysia and Canada, with each acquiring a 49% stake and CIMB Group retaining the remaining 2%.

Malaysia: AmLife seeks foreign partner

AMMB Holdings is seeking a strategic foreign partner for its life unit AmLife Insurance, and will choose a partner with a global presence and Asian experience, said Group Managing Director Ashok Ramamurthy.

Myanmar: Private insurers to begin operations by June

The 12 private insurers which were given licences by the government in September 2012 will begin operations in June this year, said Dr Maung Maung Thein, Deputy Minister for Finance and Revenue, in a report.

Philippines: Programme launched to develop highly skilled leaders

Manila-based Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific (IIAP) has launched a management programme aimed at supporting the industry's needs for more internationally competitive managers and highly skilled and well-rounded leaders.

Singapore: Regulatory framework for financial holding companies

Singapore has passed the Financial Holding Companies Bill which introduced a regulatory framework for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to regulate financial holdings companies (FHCs) and their financial groups.

NTUC Income's CEO receives honour at Singapore Business Awards

Sri Lanka: New President of IASL elected

Mr Prakash Schaffter, Managing Director, Janashakthi Insurance PLC, has been elected as President of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL).

Taiwan: Regulator lowers investment hurdles for insurers

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has announced plans to allow life insurers to increase their investments in property overseas.

Thailand: CAT fund's earned premium reaches US$19.22 mln

The National Catastrophe Insurance Fund in Thailand, which was set up following the disastrous floods in 2011, had already issued more than 743,000 policies to households, more than 59,000 to SMEs and more than 4,500 to industrial entrepreneurs.

Vietnam: Non-life firms suffer losses despite sector's growth

Despite strong growth in Vietnam's non-life insurance sector, many insurers had reported losses for 2012. According to industry sources, total premium collected for the sector amounted to VND22.8 trillion (US$1.08 billion).