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  • Oct. 23, 2014, 11:03 AM
    • Still waging the last war, the regulatory generals of Basel have completed drafting "the first-ever global insurance capital standard." Beginning in 2015, nine companies which have been decreed as systemically important by the FInancial Stability Board (this is different than the U.S.'s SIFI-designation), will report a "basic capital requirements" ratio on a confidential basis.
    • The next stage set for the end of 2015 is the definition of "higher loss absorbency" requirements.
    • Among the list of nine: AIG, Allianz (OTCQX:AZSEY), MetLife (NYSE:MET), Axa (OTCPK:AXAHF, OTCQX:AXAHY), and Prudential (NYSE:PRU).
  • May. 6, 2014, 12:27 PM
    • Germany's growth premium in comparison to Europe is shrinking, impacting 25% of Germany’s equity market revenues, says global equity strategist Andrew Garthwaite, moving to a benchmark weighting in German stocks from overweight.
    • He also notes the country's competitiveness and funding-cost advantages are on decline, and it has three times more export exposure to China than Europe as a whole.
    • German's DAX 30 Index closed -0.7% today.
    • France, on the other hand, is moved to overweight as a play on ECB launching QE. "Bond spreads are consistent with outperformance, and France stands to benefit more than Germany from any ECB easing," says Garthwaite.
    • P/E valuations are 5% below average, and 75% of the companies in CAC 40 have restructuring potential, he says.
    • Particularly cheap are the French banks: CRARY, SCGLY, BNPZY. Also looking good: Renault (RNSDF), AXA (AXAHY -1.6%), and Total (TOT -0.4%).
    • The CAC 40 closed -0.8% today.
    • French ETFs: FXE, EUO, ERO, DRR, EUFX, ULE, URR
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  • Sep. 26, 2013, 1:18 PM
    • 80% of insurers say their businesses will have to change to produce adequate returns over the next three years, is one of the conclusions of a BlackRock study: Global Insurance: Investment strategy at an inflection point?
    • The low-yield environment has forced a majority of the industry to fine new fixed asset classes to invest in, and half to find new asset classes - like alternatives and derivatives - in which to put money. Along with those changes are greater risk management - 90% have increased investment in this area.
    • Turning to operations, nearly two-thirds say regulatory changes are stopping them from moving into certain lines of business, particularly guaranteed products.
    • Samples: "Pre-2008 crisis, mortgage-backed securities, corporate credit structures and credit default options were a large part of the supply, and that’s no longer there ... the supply of fixed income is minimal whereas the demand is greater than ever on the part of institutional investors."
    • "The action of regulators, principally in Europe, has been to reduce the supply of capital available to provide ready markets to legitimate investors such as ourselves."
    • Individual names of interest: MET, PRU, HIG, XL, MMC, AXAHY.PK.
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  • Jul. 19, 2013, 2:59 AM
    AIG (AIG), MetLife (MET) and Prudential Financial (PRU) are among nine global insurers that have been categorized as "systemically important" by the G20's Financial Stability Board. The designation, which U.S. authorities also want to place on the firms, will mean they'll have to hold higher capital reserves, and formulate recovery and resolution plans to limit any fallout should they collapse. Unlike in the U.S., GE Capital's (GE) not on the list, although Prudential PLC (PRU), Aviva (AV), Germany's Allianz (ALIZF.PK), France's Axa (AXAHY.PK), China's Ping An (PIAIF.PK) and Italy's Assicurazioni Generali (ARZGF.PK) are.
  • Jun. 9, 2013, 5:24 AM
    Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) is reportedly interested in acquiring assets that Italian insurer Unipol (UGFNY.OB) must sell as part of a rescue of peer company Fondiaria-SAI. Berkshire faces competition for the assets, which have premiums of €1.7B, from Allianz (AZSEY.PK), Axa (AXAHY.PK) and Aviva (AV), among others. Non-binding offers are expected on Friday.
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  • Apr. 3, 2013, 7:41 AM
    HSBC (HBC) cuts more non-core assets, announcing the sale of its Singapore insurance business to AXA (AXAHY.PK) in a deal valued at about $19.3M. The move is a small part of a plan to save $3.5B in expenses and reduce headcount by 30K.
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  • Mar. 27, 2013, 5:51 AM
    Protective Life Insurance (PL) is reportedly in the lead to buy some of the U.S. life insurance assets of France's Axa (AXAHF.PK) in a transaction that could be worth $1B, or more than a third of Protective's market cap of $2.8B. A deal would help the firm expand beyond its main focus of variable annuity business, which is becoming harder to manage.
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  • Dec. 6, 2012, 2:39 PM
    Parts of Axa's (AXAHY.PK) U.S. life insurance business are reportedly on the block, including the remnants of Mony Group, which Axa acquired in 2004. Axa's focus of late is on faster-growing areas like Asia and emerging markets. The U.S. assets for sale may be worth at least $500M
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  • Mar. 7, 2012, 2:45 AM
    HSBC (HBC) agrees to sell its general insurance business to French insurer AXA and Australia's QBE Insurance Group for $914M in cash. The sale is part of HSBC's push to divest non-core assets, and helps AXA boost its presence in emerging markets.
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  • Mar. 1, 2012, 2:59 AM
    HSBC (HBC) is said to be nearing a deal to sell its general insurance business for around $1B. French insurer AXA and Australia's QBE Insurance Group would reportedly split the business.
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  • Feb. 16, 2012, 8:14 AM
    AXA (AXAHY.PK) posts 2012 net income of €4.32B against €2.75B in 2011. The company didn't break out H2 numbers, but is calculated to have earned just €324M vs. €1.81B in 2011, hit by write-downs on its Greek paper. Believing itself to be in a good capital position, the company maintains its yearly dividend at €0.69. Shares -2.2% in Paris.
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  • Jan. 23, 2012, 8:06 AM
    EU banks may be surging on reports of a Franco-German push to weaken bank capital rules, but EU financial Commissioner Michel Barnier says he will keep to the timetable already agreed for implementing stricter Basel III requirements. And in music to U.K. ears, Barnier added that no country will be forced to accept a financial transaction tax.
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  • Jan. 23, 2012, 6:45 AM
    European banks shoot higher this morning on reports of a Franco-German push to weaken bank capital rules. In Paris, Societe Generale +7.9%, Credit Agricole +5.5%, AXA +2.8%. Premarket U.S.: Deutsche Bank +3%, UBS +1.8%, RBS +1.2%, ING +1.5%, Lloyds +1%.
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  • Aug. 19, 2011, 11:07 AM
    Moody's does a stress test on life insurers, concluding a long period of low interest rates "would subject (them) to substantial losses and could result in rating downgrades." Portfolios currently yielding an adequate 5-6% could drop below that figure, threatening policy benefits and profit margins.
  • Aug. 11, 2011, 5:27 PM
    The French short-selling ban applies to 11 of its banks and insurance companies and lasts for 15 days. Included: Axa (AXAHY.PK), BNP Paribas (BNPQF.PK), Credit Agricole (CRARY.PK), Scor (SCRYY.PK), and Societe Generale (SCGLY.PK). (PR) (earlier)
  • Jul. 29, 2011, 7:36 AM
    French banks and insurers stand to lose about €3B from the write-down of their Greek holdings as part of the latest rescue plan, says the head of the French Banking Federation. Credit Agricole (CRARY.PK) says its loss will be €150M. BNP Paribas (BNPQY.PK), Societe Generale (SCGLY.PK), and AXA (AXAHY.PK) have yet to report.
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Company Description
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 160,000 employees serving 102 million clients in 57 countries. In 2012, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 90.1 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,116 billion in assets under management... More
Sector: Financial
Industry: Life Insurance
Country: France