May 2014

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Asia: April renewals saw continued pressure on prices

Trends observed during the 1 January 2014 renewals had continued in April and with the continued features of strong balance sheets and an abundance of capacity, most industry observers say this is likely to be the case for the rest of the year.

Asia: Reputation damage from a cyber-attack top concern in Asia, says Marsh

Companies in Asia are most concerned about the potential for a cyber-attack or data breach to cause reputation damage to their firms and are planning to become more proactive in managing their cyber risk exposures, according to a recent survey conducted by Marsh.

Australia's retirement income system ranks most sustainable, says Allianz

In a study on the long-term sustainability of different pension systems carried out by Allianz on 50 countries in its 2014 Pension Sustainability Index (PSI), it was found that Australia's combined public and private retirement incomes system is the most financially sustainable of the 50 countries.

Australia: Arthur J. Gallagher makes two acquisitions in ANZ

Arthur J. Gallagher and Co has signed an agreement to acquire the Wesfarmers Insurance brokerage operations in Australia while in New Zealand, it has acquired Mike Henry Insurance Brokers Limited (MHIB) as it seeks to expand specialist capabilities in that country.

China: New M&A rules will spur more deals

In response to China's announcement to relax M&A rules for the insurance industry in April, KPMG is predicting a focus on domestic consolidation and rationalisation within the market. Likewise, Fitch Ratings said that this is likely to improve overall market efficiency, especially in the area of capital and cost management in the long term.

China: Professional payout "agents" are the bane of insurers

Professional compensation agents are being blamed for increased insurance payouts made by insurance companies in China. Such agents persuade victims of traffic accidents that they can help them obtain higher compensation in return for a fee.

Hong Kong: Hang Seng and Bupa sign 10-year exclusive deal

Hang Seng Bank has entered into an exclusive 10-year distribution agreement with international healthcare company Bupa

India: SBI Life settles claim for martyred LTC

SBI Life Insurance Company has settled the claim of martyred Lieutenant Commander Manoranjan Kumar in just 48 hours.

India: IRDA launches highway ambulance pilot project

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has launched a highway ambulance pilot project from April 2014 to study the accident patterns and identify long-term solutions in terms of medical, insurance and accident prevention measures.

Japan: NKSJ Holdings and Sompo receive sustainability awards

NKSJ Holdings has received the RobecoSAM Bronze Class distinction for 2013 in RobecoSAM's Corporate Sustainability Assessment, a survey conducted by Swiss asset management advisor RobecoSAM to assess companies from the perspective of sustainability performance.

South Korea: Ferry disaster payout likely to reach US$140 mln

Insurers are likely to pay up to US$140 million for both passenger liability and hull loss for the tragic ferry accident that occurred on 16 April 2014 off the country's southwestern coast, according to news report.

South Korea: Aviva sells its stake in JV with Woori

Aviva plc said it has reached an agreement to sell its entire 47% stake in its South Korean business Woori Aviva Life Insurance (WALI) to NongHyup Financial group (NHFG).

South Korea: Lotte, KB bids for LIG Insurance

Lotte Shopping Co Ltd, KB Financial Group and private equity-backed Tong Yang Life Insurance were three of several companies that have submitted preliminary bids for LIG Insurance, South Korea's fourth largest general insurer with KRW2.04 billion in assets as of September 2013.

Malaysia: Losses from missing plane will be manageable to industry

While the potential insurance losses from the missing Malaysian aircraft MH370 are subject to several variables, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects the impact on the credit profiles of the rated reinsurers and insurers exposed to this event to be limited.

Myanmar: Willis opens representative office

Willis Group has signalled its commitment to Myanmar's growing insurance industry by opening a representative office in the country.

Pakistan: Microinsurance critical for insurance sector

The insurance industry in Pakistan is set to focus on microinsurance in order to reach the vast multitudes which have no access to insurance.

Singapore: Catlin sets up General Aviation Consortium at Lloyd's Asia

Catlin Group Limited, the international specialty property/casualty insurer and reinsurer, has announced the formation of the General Aviation Consortium at Lloyd's Asia to write General Aviation insurance and reinsurance risks based in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

Taiwan: Yuan-denominated life policies now allowed

Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has approved the first batch of mainland Chinese yuan-denominated life insurance policies, establishing a new milestone for Taiwan to diversify its onshore financial products and to establish itself as an offshore centre for the yuan.

Vietnam: Catalytics to develop CAT models with VinaRe

Catalytics, an Asian cat modelling company based in Singapore, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Vietnam National Reinsurance Corporation (VinaRe), to jointly develop and calibrate three natural catastrophe models for Vietnam.