LONDON, Sept 19- British financial markets rose and a collective sigh of relief echoed across the investment and business community on Friday after a Scottish vote against independence averted the deep uncertainty a United Kingdom break-up would have unleashed. Royal Bank of Scotland said it had scrapped contingency plans to relocate to England.» Read More
SNS Reaal has agreed to buy AXA's Dutch insurance operations for 1.75 billion euros ($2.36 billion), the companies said in separate press statements.
Swiss Re is set to buy nearly 4 billion pounds ($7.90 billion) worth of U.K. life insurance liabilities from Swiss insurer Zurich Financial, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday. Both Zurich Financial and Swiss Re declined to comment on the story, which said terms of the deal were not known.
Adjusted net income rose 30% to $4.39 billion, or $1.68 a share. A consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Financial put earnings for the quarter at $1.54 a share
Britain's largest bank HSBC and its largest insurer Aviva plan to create an insurance joint venture that will underwrite and distribute general insurance products to HSBC's 10 million UK customers.
Allstate, the largest publicly traded home and car insurer in the United States, said it would no longer offer new homeowner and landlord coverage in California.
Swiss reinsurer Converium said Thursday it was dropping its months-long opposition to a takeover by Scor because the French company had improved its offer enough to recommend shareholder acceptance.
Sampo said investors would have to wait until next year to hear what the group plans to do with the 5.1 billion euros ($6.9 billion) of excess capital it has following the sale of its banking operation to Danske Bank.
Standard Life, one of Britain's largest insurers, said Tuesday its life and pensions sales rose 40% in the first three months of the year.
Insurer Allianz confirmed Tuesday that its first-quarter profit rose 78% on sales of stakes in BMW and retailer KarstadtQuelle, which helped offset claims from a storm that walloped parts of Europe in January.
Swiss Re reported a consensus-beating first quarter net profit of 1.3 billion sfr, a 54% increase over the year-earlier period, due to a continuing good performance across all business segments.
Auto and home insurer Liberty Mutual Group will buy Ohio Casualty for $2.7 billion, the companies said, boosting the number of independent insurance agencies offering Liberty's products to nearly 10,000 nationwide.
Munich Re promised to return over 8 billion euros ($10.9 billion) to its shareholders through 2010, answering criticism it was not doing enough to drive up its stock price.
Allianz said first-quarter net profit rose to 3.2 billion euros ($4.4 billion) from 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) on a "very favourable development" on the capital markets.
MetLife, the largest life insurer in the United States by assets, said that earnings rose in the first quarter, matching analyst estimates, as total premiums, fees and other revenues climbed 6%.
Loewssaid first-quarter profit rose 42%, topping Wall Street forecasts, helped by better-than-expected results from its insurance, tobacco and oil drilling units.
Ronald Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Aetna, said meeting the needs of its private customers –- not government reimbursements –- boosted first-quarter earnings.
WellPoint reported higher first-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by gains in membership.
Aflac reported a first-quarter profit of 82 cents a share, topping analysts' forecasts and rising 10 cents a share from the same period last year. Consensus estimates of equity analysts following the stock stood at 79 cents a share.
British insurer Aviva posted a 16% rise in life and pensions sales on Tuesday, boosted by U.S. business, with its newly acquired AmerUs unit making its first full quarter's contribution.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released their status report Thursday on 2002-05 driver deaths from vehicles manufactured between 2001-04 and the findings show that larger vehicles tend to be safer in auto accidents. Larger vehicles can experience less problems when equipped with electronic stability control technology.
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