Major interest for insurance units of Turkey’s Halkbank According to Reuters, more than a dozen major European insurance groups have shown a significant interest in the acquisition of Halk Hayat Emeklilik and Halk Sigorta, the pension and insurance units of Turkish Halkbank. These insurance groups include Ageas, Aviva, Zurich, Japan’s Meiji Yasuda, Nippon Life and Sompo Japan Insurance. Malaysia’s Khazanah and USlisted Ace Group have also expressed interest. In the first half of 2014, Halk Sigorta generated a total volume of gross written premiums of €103 million), while Halk Emeklilik reported €33 million. Swiss Re CEO says its all about ‘covering the gaps’ Reinsurers should worry less about excess capital and more about covering the gaps. This was according to Swiss Re CEO Michel Liès who delivered the keynote speech at the recent AM Best Conference for reinsurers. Liès pulled back from the reinsurance sector’s earlier line that ‘new capital’ was ‘hot money’ that would disappear at the first sign of trouble. He said that “it remains to be seen” what would happen if either yields improved elsewhere or if there were a major catastrophic event, but he did not predict that the new capital would go away.
Claims growth rates set to rise Swiss Re’s Global Economic and Re/Insurance Outlook predict that the rate of claims growth is expected to rise in coming years. The claims growth is expected to increase across all geographies, with Canada and Germany historically high correlations of claims growth to wage and CPI inflation, according to Swiss Re’s Roman Lechner. The UK and France have historically shown low growth of claims in relation to GDP. In the life sector, profits for life assurers had been improving, with an outperformance in the UK being based on life assurers in the UK generally having a higher percentage of their assets in equities. Ingosstrakh ratings removed from CreditWatch list Standard & Poor removed the ratings of Russian insurer Ingosstrakh Insurance Company from the CreditWatch list (ratings under revision), where S&P had placed them with negative implications. The outlook is negative. In the report, S&P noted that the negative rating outlook reflects Russia’s sovereign outlook, as well as the incertitude regarding Ingosstrakh’s ability to improve its operating performance, liquidity and capital adequacy in the difficult economic environment and the current market conditions in Russia.