Jan 2015

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Breaking News: Indonesia - Regulator proposes more business be placed with local reinsurers

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority (OJK or Otoritas Jasa Keuangan) has proposed for insurers to retain or reinsure more business with domestic reinsurers, in order to "improve and optimise capacity in the country".

Asia: Berkshire Hathaway opens direct office in Singapore and eyes Hong Kong

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BH Specialty) is close to obtaining a non-life licence in Hong Kong in what would be the next step for its corporate business in Asia following last month's inaugural launch in Singapore, as revealed by its Regional President Marc Breuil to Asia Insurance Review.

Asia Pacific: Businesses' concern about cash flow up from last year - Atradius

The latest edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia Pacific reveals that more businesses in the region feel pressured by the stresses of maintaining sufficient cash flow last year than the year before. This reflects the growing concern about a deterioration of the credit quality in several countries in the region.

Insured global disasters down 24% in 2014 to US$34 bln; economic losses down 16% to $113 bln - sigma

According to preliminary sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$113 billion in 2014, down from $135 billion in 2013. Out of the total economic losses, insurers covered $34 billion in 2014, down 24% from $45 billion in 2013. This year disaster events have claimed around 11,000 lives.

Asia Pacific pension funds eye alternative assets - State Street

Pension funds in Asia Pacific (APAC) are showing increasing investment appetite for risk over the next three years and are stepping up their exposure to alternative assets in pursuit of enhanced returns, according to new research from State Street Corporation.

Reputation Institute and RL Expert Group launches member network in Asia

Organisations in North and Southeast Asia will be able to join an only member network for senior executives which offers strategic advice, best practice research, reputation benchmarking and peer networking. Known as Reputation Leaders Network (RLN), it is set up as a result of a partnership between Reputation Institute and RL Expert Group.

Australia: Insured losses for Brisbane hailstorm estimated at US$663 million

Estimated insurance losses for the hailstorm which tore through Brisbane in November last year was estimated to be A$804 million (US$663.4 million), said the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

Australia: Calliden shareholders approve acquisition by Steadfast

Steadfast Group Ltd has welcomed the outcome of the Scheme Meeting whereby Calliden Group Ltd's shareholders approved Steadfast's proposal to acquire 100% of the ordinary shares in Calliden.

China Re receives final approval for Lloyd's syndicate for 2015

China Reinsurance (Group) Corporation has received approval from Lloyd's to transform its existing special purpose syndicate into a stand-alone syndicate that will underwrite a diversified book of business, initially focussing on reinsurance, incepting from 1 January 2015.

Hong Kong: Medical costs on the rise

The rate of increase in medical costs would hover in the 8-10% range for 2014 to 2015, according to The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI).

First Financial Inclusion summit in India

Over 1,000 delegates from around the world, including sector experts, policy makers, regulators and bankers, gathered in New Delhi late last year for the first "Inclusive Finance India Summit" organised by ACCESS, a national think tank with MetLife Foundation as one of the two principal partners.

India: Need felt for disaster related insurance programme in South Asia

With increasing catastrophic events occurring in the South Asian region, the Insurance Institute of India (III), along with SAARC Disaster Management Center (SDMC), is in the process of creating awareness on building disaster resilience in the entire South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region consisting of eight countries, through the mechanism of insurance.

Japan non-life insurers to tighten catastrophe risk management - Fitch

Japanese non-life insurers are likely to further tighten their management of catastrophe risks in 2015, Fitch Ratings says in a new report, "2015 Outlook: Japanese Non-Life Insurance". Catastrophe risk and non-life insurers' exposure to Japanese equities are the two main sources of volatility in operating performance for the industry.

Malaysia: Fairfax acquires MCIS

Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings is expanding its operations in Malaysia by acquiring the general insurance business of MCIS Insurance, and merging it with the group's existing operations in the country.

Nepal: First local reinsurance company receives Government approval

The Nepal Government has given its approval for the setting up of the country's first reinsurance company.

Pakistan: 250,000 mobile subscribers join life insurance scheme

Amicro-insurance scheme launched in Pakistan for those earning less than US$2 a day has touched 250,000 subscribers. The scheme called "Khusaal Beema" was launched by Easypaisa, a mobile money provider in partnership with Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Micro Finance Bank and backed by Adamjee Life Insurance.

Philippines: Hagupit economic loss estimated at US$75 mln

The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has said that the cost of damage brought about by Super Typhoon Hagupit (known as Ruby in the Philippines) has increased to PHP3.35 billion (US$75 million).

Sri Lanka: Assets of insurance companies grows in first half

According to the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL), the total assets of the insurance industry in Sri Lanka increased to LKR390,918 million (US$2.98 billion) in the first half (up to 30 June) as compared to LKR345,942 million as on 30 June 2013, reflecting a growth of 13.0%. The assets of Long Term Insurance Business amounted to LKR237,706 million.

Consider risk and capital aspects in RI programme carefully - Swiss Re

The importance of insurers having a good understanding of risks and considering the capital aspect of its reinsurance programme in the challenging Asian economic and regulatory environment cannot be emphasised enough, said Mr David Alexander, Swiss Re's Head of Business Development Asia.

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