Life insurer M&A activity to heat up: Fitch

Canadian lifecos face rising credit risks: DBRS James Langton Despite pandemic responses, insurers will struggle Fitch Ratings says it expects merger and acquisition activity in the life insurance sector to accelerate this year, as the industry continues to undergo strategic restructuring. The rating agency notes that there have been a series of transactions in the life insurance business lately, which reflects what it sees as an ongoing trend in the industry for firms to refocus operations, and discontinue or divest businesses that have underperformed and/or no longer provide a strategic fit. Keywords Life insurance industry Some of this rationalization is being driven by persistently low interest rates, which has lowered the relative profitability of some traditional products, while also lowering the cost of borrowing if debt is used to finance the acquisition of these businesses, it notes. And, likely regulatory changes may be having an impact on these sorts of strategic decisions too, it suggests. In particular, Fitch says that it expects Canadian and European insurers to further rationalize their participation in the U.S. life insurance market due to ongoing underperformance, and concerns over pending capital regime changes in their local markets, which could lead to an increase in required capital associated with having U.S. life insurance operations. “We expect this rationalization process will continue to create opportunities for both traditional players looking to strengthen existing core business, reinsurers with an expertise in block acquisitions, and nontraditional players (e.g. private equity), which are expected to play an increasing role in the life industry and have completed a number of transactions to date largely involving fixed annuity business,” it says. “As a result, we expect merger and acquisition activity, which has lagged company-specific restructuring initiatives to date, to accelerate in 2013,” it says, adding that increased M&A activity could lead to negative rating actions based on integration and financing concerns. Canadian lifecos stable in the face of headwinds: DBRS Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

Mall of America to Close on Thanksgiving For the First Time Ever

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis may not be such good news for Black Friday shopping fanatics, but for the 15,000 employees working in the biggest mall in the USA, it’s a much-appreciated gesture.Mall of America officials announced on Wednesday that it was abandoning their previous policy of staying open from Thanksgiving morning into Black Friday. The super mall will stay closed on November 24th except for certain operations like the Walk to End Hunger fundraiser. Then on 5am the next day, the mall will reopen with a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the eager consumers.WATCH: Thanksgiving Hero Nurses Who Work the Holiday, Get Surprise FeastThough shops will have the choice of staying open on the holiday, mall officials expect few will actually do so.The 520-plus stores in the Bloomington, Minnesota mall have historically made themselves available to consumers for the Christmas shopping madness, but this year, workers are grateful for the chance to be with their family instead.Let’s Be Thankful Together: Click To Share With Your Friends – Photo by Aine D, CC   Ears Ringing? Doctor: if You Have Tinnitus, Do This Immediately! healthtoday x Sponsored by RevcontentFind Out More >80,215AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more