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Asian shares mixed after US report, Fed comments

Asian markets were mixed Thursday as a positive report on the US economy and the Federal Reserve chief's pledge to keep interest rates at record lows were offset by profit-taking after the previous day's gains. Wall Street provided another positive lead, with the technology-weighted Nasdaq leading a third-straight rally after last week's heavy sell-off. Tokyo was 0.36 percent lower at the break, Hong Kong rose 0.35 percent, Sydney added 0.54 percent, Shanghai dipped 0.11 percent and Seoul shed 0.13 percent.

Aviva says sells stake in SKorea venture

British insurer Aviva has agreed to sell its stake in its South Korean venture for an undisclosed amount as it focuses on its core Asian businesses, the group said Monday. Aviva has sold its 47-percent holding in Wooru Aviva Life Insurance to NongHyup Financial Group (NHFG), it said in a statement. "Aviva has a strong presence in China and South East Asia, which are key future cash generators for the group," said Aviva Asia chief executive Khor Hock Seng. "This deal provides further focus to our Asian businesses."

Aviva says sells stake in SKorea venture

British insurer Aviva has agreed to sell its stake in its South Korean venture for an undisclosed amount as it focuses on its core Asian businesses, the group said Monday. Aviva has sold its 47-percent holding in Woori Aviva Life Insurance to NongHyup Financial Group (NHFG), it said in a statement. "Aviva has a strong presence in China and South East Asia, which are key future cash generators for the group," said Aviva Asia chief executive Khor Hock Seng. "This deal provides further focus to our Asian businesses."

China eases M&A rules for insurers

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's decision to partially relax mergers and acquisition rules in the insurance industry could see global insurance firms expand their footprint in the $288 billion market. Beijing would allow insurers, including Chinese-based units of foreign insurance firms, to buy stakes in more than one peer that competes in the same market segment, according to a statement on the China Insurance Regulatory Commission's (CIRC) website and dated last Friday.

N.Y. regulators say MetLife to pay $60 million for violations

By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurer MetLife will pay $60 million because two subsidiaries solicited insurance business in New York without a license, New York authorities said on Monday. Investigations by the state's Department of Financial Services and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office found that MetLife subsidiaries ALICO and DelAm, bought from AIG in 2010, misrepresented their business activities to regulators.

Families of some Chinese passengers on missing plane get insurance payouts

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese insurance companies have started to pay compensation to the families of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. China Life, the country's largest insurance company, has compensated the families of seven passengers a total of 4.17 million yuan ($671,600), Chen Honghao, an official from China Life's department of planning told Reuters by telephone on Friday.

NY regulator to lower reserves on term-life policies

(Reuters) - New York's top financial regulator said it would lower the reserves to be set aside for term-life insurance policies by 30-35 percent on businesses written after January 1, 2015. "We have determined that our term-life formula results in reserves that are high relative to actuarial experience and should be modernized," New York Department of Financial Services superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said in a letter to other state regulators on Thursday.

Personal data leaked from insurance firms

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- Clients' personal data at 14 insurance firms have been leaked and circulated in the market, industry sources said Tuesday, less than two months after a massive personal information leakage from credit card companies.

Gap widening between premiums paid in, benefits paid out for health insurance

TORONTO - If it feels like you are paying more for and getting less from your extended health insurance, you are not mistaken. A new analysis shows that the gap between premiums paid in and benefits paid out has widened substantially in the past 20 years in the for-profit sector of the industry. In 2011, health insurers which operate on a for-profit basis retained $6.8 billion of the premiums they collected. In 1991, the amount was $1.2 billion. (Those figures were adjusted for inflation.)

Principal Financial shares primed to rise: Barron's

(Reuters) - Principal Financial Group Inc <PFG.N> shares could rise 25 percent if the company is valued more as a global money manager, as opposed to an insurance company, according to an article in the March 24 edition of Barron's. The current stock price does not reflect Principal's position as a money manager with $483 billion in assets, the article said. "This is an asset manager in an insurance company's clothing," the article quotes Tim Call, chief investment officer at Capital Management, as saying.
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