January 2010

The Indian government is considering the consolidation of the four general public sector non-Life insurance companies (National, New India, Oriental and United India) into two and then divesting a 26% stake in them. For a quick overview of all public sector insurance companies, see http://finmin.nic.in/the_ministry/dept_fin_services/insurance_division/Public%20Sector%20Insurance%20Companies.html

For a more in-depth study of the India insurance market, go to http://www.indiacore.com/insurance.html

Australia’s second largest domestic insurance company, IAG has entered the Indian market with a 26% share in SBI General Insurance a subsidiary of the State Bank of India. See IAG’s news at http://www.iag.com.au/news/shareholder/20091204_India_JV_Investment.shtml

Not only is China investing heavily in Africa, there are signs of the opposite also happening. The largest South African health insurer, Discovery Holdings is to take a significant minority shareholding on Ping An Health insurance. For more information about this sub-Saharan giant, go to http://www.discovery.co.za/portal/ and for Ping An, see http://www.pingan.com/about/en/health.jsp

Mitsui Sumitomo of Japan is also investing huge amounts in China – in China Pacific, the second largest non-Life and the third largest Life insurance company in the country. MS is huge as a look at http://www.ms-ins.com/english/privacy/ms_group.html will tell you. For CPIC, go to http://www.cpic.com.cn/cpic/en/about/index.jsp

Not to be outdone, Hannover Re has been given approval to transact non-Life business in China. This is reported in Global Broker under http://www.globalbrokermagazine.com/nov2009-Hannover.html Hannover Re is a part of Talanx, the third largest German insurance group and their website tells you more than that, http://www.talanx.com/en/index.jsp

FERMA has come up with some common sense proposals relating to the EU’s Block Exemption Regulation (BER) on coinsurance and coreinsurance pools which would otherwise restrain market growth. Business Insurance has recorded this well at http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B82O420091209?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

The latest national risk management association to join FERMA is the Norwegian NORIMA as ISN can tell you at http://www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=1912&cid=4

For those who counted themselves lucky after the relatively quiet Atlantic Hurricane season, the prospects for 2010 are not good. For a good report see Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B82O420091209?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

Indeed, a world overview of natural disasters put 2009 as the lowest in a decade, as we can see at http://alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE5BD0W0.htm

As a result of the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Swiss Re is advocating practical implementation of climate adaption measures. ISN reports their opening thoughts at http://www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=1909&cid=4

In the United States, President Obama’s dream of a Health Bill is progressing and changing all the time in the Capitol. There are many ways of looking at this and a lot of them are on the website of Politico at http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/HealthCareReform

Lloyd’s has highlighted insurers as being contributors to the success of Brazil and has a read-worthy article at http://www.lloyds.com/News_Centre/Features_from_Lloyds/News_and_features_2009/Market_news/Insurers_contribute_to_Brazils_success.htm

And finally, as we look forward to 2010, here is what the Financial Times has to say about 2009 http://www.ft.com/reports/finance-2009