Feb 2014

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Asia: Super typhoon Haiyan dominates global Nat CAT list in 2013

Haiyan, along with exceptionally high losses from weather-related catastrophes in Europe, dominated the overall picture of natural catastrophes in 2013, said Munich Re in a report.

Asia: AIA survey says employee benefits plans fail to meet employee needs

Employees in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand consider Critical Illness coverage one of the most important elements in the Employee Benefits Schemes (EB Schemes) offered by their employers, a survey commissioned by AIA Group Ltd showed.

Asian insurers need to prepare for the new world of IFRS reporting urgently

Mr Manu Anand, Senior Manager, IFRS Advisory at Deloitte, said with the publication of the IFRS 4 Phase II, currently expected in early 2015, there is no time to delay and Asian insurers need to prepare for it urgently. We append below an extract from his report on the matter.

Euler Hermes broadens Asia Pacific credit insurance services

Euler Hermes, a leading provider of trade credit insurance, is expanding its services in Asia Pacific with the addition of a specialised Single Risk & Political Risk insurance team based in Singapore.

Standard Life establishes Asia Advisory Board

Standard Life has established an Asia Advisory Board to provide guidance and advice on its strategy to grow across the region.

Asia: Willis Group to acquire specialist broker Charles Monat Ltd

Willis Group Holdings has announced that they will acquire Charles Monat Limited, a leading life insurance solutions adviser to high net worth clients which has a strong presence in Asia.

Australia: Insurers estimate Perth fire insured losses at more than US$11 mln

Insurance losses from the bush fire in Perth Hills are estimated at A$13 million (US$11.6 million) as at the middle of last month, said the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

Cooper Gay Australia launches new wholesale division

Cooper Gay (Australia) Pte Ltd has launched a new wholesale division for the Australian insurance market.

Cambodia: Strike will cost US$200 mln

The Cambodian garment workers' two-week strike late last year will cost garment manufacturers in the country more than $200 million, said the head of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia which represents 521 clothing and footwear factories.

China: Fosun acquires three Portuguese state-owned insurers for US$1.65 bln

Fosun International has acquired three Portuguese state-owned insurers for EUR1.21 billion (US$1.65 billion).

JLT Asia strengthens Hong Kong business with Lambert Brothers acquisition

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Limited in Hong Kong (JLT) have signed a sale and purchase agreement with the board of Lambert Brothers Holdings Limited, whereby, effective from 1st January 2014, JLT acquired the 100% shareholding in Lambert Brothers Insurance Brokers (Hong Kong) Limited, Lambert Brothers Insurance Brokers (Employee Benefits) Limited and LBI Agencies Limited (collectively; LBH).

Hong Kong: Tax bill to attract captives

In a bid to attract more enterprises that are keen to form their own captive insurance companies to Hong Kong, the government has gazetted a bill to cut the profits tax of captives by half.

India: IRDA looking at increasing FDI in insurance intermediaries and TPAs

The IRDA has constituted a committee to look into the possibility of increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance intermediaries and third party administrators (TPAs).

India: Insurance sector ready for government panel's recommendations

The Indian insurance sector has already implemented most of the recommendations made by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) set up by the finance ministry.

India: Non-life insurers pitch for healthcare regulator

The General Insurance Council, which represents the interests of 25 non-life insurance companies in the country, has strongly pitched for a regulator to oversee the healthcare industry and prescribe norms for standardisation and inspection of services across hospitals.

Indonesia: Aviva and Astra International in joint venture deal

PT Astra International Tbk (Astra), Indonesia's largest publicly listed company and Aviva plc, one of UK's largest insurer, signed an agreement last month to form Astra Aviva Life, a 50-50 joint venture to sell and distribute life insurance products in Indonesia.

Malaysia: Floods lead to deluge of insurance adequacy questions

Recent severe floods, believed to be the worst in 40 years to hit the East Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia, have raised questions about whether the current motor insurance system provides adequately for damages caused by floods.

Malaysia: Manulife completes acquisition of MAAKL Mutual Bhd

Manulife Holdings Berhad has successfully completed the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of MAAKL Mutual Bhd, following regulatory approval.

Philippines: PhilRealty selling its stake in Meridian Assurance

Listed property developer Philippine Realty & Holdings Corp (PhilRealty) is selling its 70% stake in its general insurance subsidiary Meridian Assurance Corp to a group of private investors for PHP190 million (US$4.2 million).

Tenet Sompo Insurance acquires Nipponkoa's Singapore general business

Tenet Sompo Insurance Pte Ltd has acquired the general insurance business of Nipponkoa Insurance Co Ltd, Singapore branch, in January, resulting in an even greater presence in the Singapore insurance market.

Catlin establishes Singapore branch

Catlin Group Limited has announced the formation of the Singapore Branch of Catlin Insurance Company Ltd of Bermuda.

Singapore: Nationale Suisse sets up branch

International Swiss insurance company Nationale Suisse has received a licence for its Singapore branch from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, allowing it to insure risks directly and to offer facultative reinsurance in Singapore and other Asian markets.

Thailand: Economic costs of Bangkok unrest to exceed US$600 mln

The continuing unrest between government and anti-government factions is toting up economic costs to the tune of more than THB20 billion (US$608 million), said the Federation of Thai Industry (FTI), quoting figures from the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Thailand: ACE to acquire majority control of Thai insurer

Zurich-headquartered ACE has agreed to buy a 60.9% stake in Thai non-life insurer, Siam Commercial Samaggi Insurance, for about US$185 million as foreign insurers step up their presence in underdeveloped Southeast Asian insurance markets.