April 2013

Talk Around the Bazaar

During the past eight or nine months there has been a string of well-written articles on designing international insurance programmes for multinational organisations. ACE was one of the carriers who did this for general property and casualty insurance and they have now produced a paper which investigates “cross border challenges and solutions for the marine market.” We first came across this through iNavigator and here is the link we recommend our readers activate: http://www.inavigator.com.au/ftproot/common/technical%20centre/insurance%20solutions/insurance%20of%20assets/marine/marine%20cargo/Technical%20Notes/Structuring%20Multinational%20Insurance%20Programmes%20-%20Solutions%20for%20the%20Marine%20Market%20-%20ACE%20Feb%202013.pdf

The Chinese Securities Regulation Commission has given another sign that they are opening up the market to overseas investors by allowing Hong Kong insurers and Hong Kong branches of Chinese insurers to invest money raised offshore in the mainland. Bloomberg reports on the relaxing of the rules at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-07/china-banks-insurers-given-rqfii-access-in-program-expansion.html

On a slightly different scale but with a big message for its giant neighbour, Bangladesh has issued a set of rules for foreign investment in local insurance companies. The name of the new game is 100% foreign ownership which is something India needs a few decades to prepare for. The Financial Express has the full story at http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/index.php?ref=MjBfMDNfMDlfMTNfMV8xXzE2MjU2MA==

While there has been some talk of transforming the Brazilian Superintendency of Insurance into a fully fledged insurance commission, such a development is a long way away. It is an idea, however, to take a look at the SUSEP and what it does at the moment. If you want to have an overview of the insurance market or need some statistical information, or if you are after news on microinsurance, the answers can be found at http://www.susep.gov.br/english-susep/index

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), a risk pooling facility owned and operated by sixteen Caribbean countries, was honoured as the winner of the CICA 2013 Outstanding Captive Award in California. You can read about this at http://www.captiveinternational.com/news/caribbean-catastrophe-captive-honored-by-cica and thanks to Captive International, one must compliment the organisers on their stage management (tongue in cheek) if you look at a report on some special effects… http://www.captiveinternational.com/news/let-s-get-ready-to-rumble-earthquake-strikes-cica-conference-keynote

Because the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom (they are Crown Dependencies), all sorts of agreements and treaties must be made and updated with the UK. Guernsey is widely recognised as one of the world’s premier international finance centres. It remains home to more non-UK entities listed on the London Stock Exchange than any other international finance centre. As such the relationship with the UK is constantly being fine-tuned. In March the island agreed a package of tax measures with the UK as readers can see at http://www.guernseyfinance.com/press-room/news/2013/03/guernsey-to-agree-package-of-tax-measures-with-the-uk/

Environmental liability insurance is set to become mandatory for a number of industrial sectors in China as the government attempts to cope with the consequences of more frequent and increasingly unpopular incidents of pollution in the country. Multinational companies operating in China will not be excluded from this new rule. Environment Impairment Liability for heavy metals and petrochemical industries in certain provinces and cities is currently available but not yet strictly enforced. China Daily explains more at http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-03/07/content_16289021.htm

Although outsiders are saying that China’s insurance regulatory system needs to undergo reform, the State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform (SCOPSR) is not ready do anything radical. China Daily says that the government is still unsure about creating a “mega-regulator” as can be seen at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2013-03/12/content_16300882.htm

At the time of writing, Cyprus is experiencing a horrendous financial battle to avoid dropping out of the eurozone. A bailout package has been agreed but that does not do much more than push reporting of events off the front page. For some companies, especially multinationals, it is business as usual as we can read on TMF’s website at http://www.tmf-group.com/news/business-as-usual-for-multinational-companies-in-cyprus.aspx

Oman’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) is set to enact a new insurance law, which will offer more flexibility for insurance companies for providing insurance coverage. Furthermore, plans to have a unified insurance policy for automobiles in the GCC region are in the pipeline. The current rules are restrictive and changes will be welcome as the Times of Oman reports at http://www.timesofoman.com/News/Article-10740.aspx

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts which could come in handy to know…

  • The rarest type of diamond is green
  • Brazil takes up 50% of the South American continent