|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||25.52 - 25.69|
|52 Week Range||20.84 - 27.93|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.04|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||9.49|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.50 (5.87%)|
|1y Target Est||31.00|
(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the second straight meeting, but projections for the path of policy diverged, leaving equity markets on edge.The central bank lowered rates 25 basis points, noting that trade policy and slowing global growth warranted the cut even as the U.S. economy remains strong. Officials split on the need for further easing, with five seeing no change in rates by the end of the year, five wanting one more cut and seven expecting two cuts. Here’s what investors had to say:Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group:“There is now a likelihood that as of today, this might be the last rate cut of the year as the ‘mid-course adjustment’ process continues but could be done. So call this a hawkish cut. The stock market is of course disappointed with the limit on the amount of candy they’ll get but more rate cuts assumes an ever slowing economy and that’s not something to cheer for.”Zhiwei Ren, Penn Mutual Asset Management portfolio manager:“There was some speculation they might increase the balance sheet by about $150 billion a year to provide liquidity for the market. They didn’t mention that. That’s taken as a little bit hawkish -- a tiny little bit hawkish. Other than that, everything’s as expected,” Ren said. “The median is for no more cuts after this one, but there are seven members that think there’s one more cut for the rest of the year. That means they’re leaning towards one more cut for the rest of this year. But for 2021, they see one hike -- one rate hike. That fits into the rhetoric that this is a mid-cycle adjustment. That’s what they’re indicating. That they’ll cut and then hike again.”Marvin Loh, global macro strategist at State Street:“There’s a decent amount of dissent or differing opinions within the FOMC at this point,” Loh said. “The dispersion of opinions around the next two years seems like it’s one of the main stories that the market’s going to take away. We have a stronger dollar, the curve is flattening. It’s the market saying that the FOMC is hawkish, so the dollar is stronger, curve is flattening, so we’ve got policy mistakes built into there.”David Page, head of macroeconomic research at AXA Investment Managers:“To some extent, markets were hoping to see a little bit more from the Fed. Markets do price a bit more and particularly after some of the excitement that we’d seen again in the short-term funding markets, they may have expected to see movement on the balance sheet. What we’re seeing is perhaps a little bit of disappointment that the Fed rate wasn’t moved lower by more than 25 basis points, but also possibly that some has possibly started to assume the Fed would start to let the balance sheet rise a little bit again.”Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial:“There isn’t too much new to digest in today’s Fed announcement, although it’s interesting to see an increasingly divided Fed. Their accommodative stance comes at a time of conflicting economic signals. While unemployment is near a 50-year low and consumers continue to ramp up spending, manufacturing output has slowed, job gains have tapered, trade tensions have stressed the economy, and the yield curve has inverted. With inflation still short of the Fed’s sweet spot and bond yields hinting at an economic slowdown, the Fed may not be done cutting rates this year.”\--With assistance from Lu Wang.To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Ponczek in New York at email@example.com;Vildana Hajric in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Emmanuel Macron is courting France’s big institutional investors in a bid to make the country more attractive to tech money -- and see Paris become the seat of a European Nasdaq index.In Paris on Tuesday, the French president is set to announce a multi-billion euro pledge by banks and insurers, including Axa SA, Natixis SA, Aviva Plc and Allianz SE, to invest in France’s tech companies, his office told reporters. The French daily, La Lettre A, said the commitment may amount to 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) over three years, a report his office declined to confirm.It’s part of a broader push by Macron’s government to attract more investment for innovation. Other measures include eased regulations and tax cuts. His long-term goal is the creation of a European version of the tech-heavy Nasdaq index, if possible based in Paris, his office said.There’s still a long way to go for that to happen. In the first half of this year, France’s four growth equity operations raised 580 million euros, Data compiled by EY show. That compares with five operations in Germany reaching 1.13 billion euros in the same period and seven operations in the U.K. that amounted to 2.39 billion euros.Apart from attracting more growth equity funds, to see such an index in Paris, Macron has to create smoother exit options, a tech-friendly stock exchange and harmonized Europe-wide regulations.Investors have pledged to either inject more money in existing venture capital funds such as Idinvest and Partech, in a ‘fund of funds’ created by state-backed investor BpiFrance, or to create their own fund, an official in Macron’s office said, declining to be named in accordance with Elysee Palace rules.Innovation companies raised about 2.79 billion euros in the first half this year in France, compared to 1.95 billion euros over 2018, according to the EY data. France is catching up to the U.K., the region’s leader, which had 5.3 billion euros of venture capital and growth equity in the period.French and foreign investors and company leaders will mix Tuesday evening as Macron hosts one of his trademark tech diners. Companies invited include Founders Fund, Accel and Lightspeed Venture Partners, and also sovereign funds for Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Qatar, Kuwait and South Korea.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at email@example.com, Caroline Alexander, Richard BravoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- As Saudi Aramco presses on with plans to pitch its initial public offering to analysts, strikes on key oil facilities have heightened investor fears about the prospect of more attacks in the future.“They are the best assets in the world but I have no interest in owning Aramco given the security risks,” said Ben Cleary, Asia chief executive officer at Tribeca Investment Partners Pty. “The issues in the Gulf don’t seem like they are going anytime soon.”In an attack blamed by the U.S. on Iran, a swarm of drones laden with explosives set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze, cutting the kingdom’s oil production in half. Iran denied responsibility, which was instead claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Houthis on Monday threatened more attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia.The sprawling state-owned company controls one-fifth of the globe’s petroleum reserves and pumps more crude than the top four publicly-traded oil companies combined. Aramco officials are growing less optimistic about a rapid recovery in oil production, a person with knowledge of the matter said.Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the architect of the IPO, said he expects Aramco to be valued at over $2 trillion. Analysts, however, see $1.5 trillion as more realistic, while supply disruption stemming from the strikes over the weekend could further widen the gap in valuation. Floating a minority stake of the oil giant, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is part of Prince Mohammed’s efforts to modernize and diversify the country’s economy.Energy ListingsThe attack comes as listings from the energy sector are at a 16-year low globally. A weakening outlook for global oil demand, a flood of new supply from shale fields in the U.S. and growth in cleaner energy sources have been weighing on crude markets. Volatile commodity prices aside, a number of large global asset managers are shunning fossil fuel assets, impacting demand for energy stock offerings.Oil prices surged by the most on record to more than $71 a barrel after the strikes removed about 5% of global supplies. The jump reverberated across asset classes, with gold rising about 1%. S&P 500 futures fell as much as 0.8% but had pared the loss to 0.4% as of 10:30 a.m. London time, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.5%.Meanwhile, Saudi equities surprised market watchers by rising as much as 1.1%, spurring speculation that government funds may be supporting the assets. Stocks on Sunday tumbled 3.1% within the first minute of trading before ending the day with a 1.1% loss.Here’s more from analysts and investors:Tribeca Investment, Ben Cleary“Very hard to see an IPO until security of production facilities has been improved”AXA Investment Managers, Gilles Guibout“Short term, need to understand how long it could take to come back to normal production level”Al Dhabi Capital, Mohammed Ali Yasin“I think this attack may delay the IPO even on the local exchange, and could affect the valuation negatively, as the investors have seen a live demonstration of the risk levels of the future revenues and business of the company. That was very low prior to this weekend attack”“Aramco has one main source of revenue, oil. That is its strength, but now it is becoming its biggest weakness if it gets disrupted”United Securities, Joice MathewThis “will force investors to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their risk models on Aramco”“Even though this is a rare event, which could be potentially categorized as 4 or 6 sigma levels, the geopolitical risk premium on Aramco’s valuation model would show a sharp increase”“As far as the pricing is concerned, my view is that there may not be much of an impact if the government is contemplating a 1% listing on the Tadawul. I think the government has the power and ability to influence the decisions of anchor investors there”Tellimer, Hasnain Malik“Ultimately the security risk is not so acute that it outweighs oil price, oil output and free float drivers of the valuation”This attack “also provides an opportunity for Aramco to demonstrate the redundancy and resilience of its supply chain by minimizing disruption to customers and thereby helping to mitigate the valuation impact of this risk”Qamar Energy, Robin Mills“It will be all but impossible to proceed with the IPO if there are ongoing attacks”“Valuing Aramco like Shell or ExxonMobil gets us to about $1.2 trillion-$1.4 trillion. But that would drop significantly if we apply company-specific risk factors”Al Ramz Capital, Marwan Shurrab“The attacks could impact foreign sentiment for the IPO, but I don’t see a substantial hit to the valuation at this stage”“Geopolitical risk has always been an important factor for valuations across the Middle East region. Aramco will have to demonstrate its financial resilience toward such incidences to gain investors confidence”Eurasia, analysts led by Ayham Kamel“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will push the company to demonstrate that it can effectively tackle terrorism or war challenges,” Eurasia Group said in a report“The attacks could complicate Aramco’s IPO plans”“The latest attack on Aramco facilities will have only a limited impact on interest in Aramco shares as the first stage of the IPO will be local. The international component of the sale would be more sensitive to geopolitical risks”Current valuation estimates for Aramco and its assets might not fully account for geopolitical risks\--With assistance from Mahmoud Habboush and Shaji Mathew.To contact the reporters on this story: Swetha Gopinath in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Filipe Pacheco in Dubai at email@example.com;Sarah Algethami in Riyadh at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at email@example.com, ;Blaise Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Wallace, Claudia MaedlerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Warning signs are starting to flash in U.S. credit markets, according to Cantor Fitzgerald LP.Companies sold around $13 billion of junk bonds this week, the most in more than two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Risk premiums for the securities have dropped more than 1.5 percentage points this year on average, and investors aren’t getting paid much more to buy junk bonds instead of investment-grade, by some measures.Relatively risky junk-bond sales like a $300 million offering from Core & Main LP, a sewer and water supply distributor, show that the credit markets keep inflating, Cantor Global Chief Market Strategist Peter Cecchini wrote in a note Sept. 12. Companies are taking on more debt, he said.“We are starting to see signs of pure froth,” Cecchini wrote, adding that "many deals have been priced to perfection.”PIK NotesCore & Main’s new bonds allow the company to delay interest payments, a feature known as “payment in kind toggle.” Securities like that often grow more popular when money is pouring into debt markets. In this case, the bonds will boost the company’s borrowings relative to an earnings measure and increase its interest payments relative to that income metric, Cecchini wrote. Core & Main cut the size of the offering to $300 million from $400 million, and increased the coupon to 8.625% from 8.375%.Companies’ debt loads are broadly getting higher, Cecchini wrote. A greater share of high-yield companies have obligations equal to more than seven times a measure of income known as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, he wrote, citing data from LCD. A higher proportion of companies have Ebitda equal to less than 1.5 times their annual interest expenses.Meanwhile, U.S. corporate bonds have rallied, with high-yield notes gaining about 11.6% this year, accounting for both price gains and interest. Risk premiums for the securities, or spreads, narrowed to 3.65 percentage points on average on Thursday, from 5.26 percentage points at the end of last year. The average spread for a U.S. BB rated company -- the highest junk-bond rating -- earlier this week was just 0.55 percentage points more than for a company with the lowest investment grade rating, the narrowest gap in a decade.Uncertainty about stock market prices, as measured by equity market volatility, is high relative to corporate bond spreads, Cecchini wrote. He doubts the rally for junk-bond spreads will continue.“It’s unclear what the catalyst for a severe sell-off might be, but we don’t expect more spread compression,” he wrote.\--With assistance from Gowri Gurumurthy.To contact the reporters on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at email@example.com;Katherine Greifeld in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at email@example.com, ;Andrew Monahan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Dan Wilchins, Nikolaj GammeltoftFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- In times of volatility, diversification within multi-asset fixed income has helped to reduce price swings and might be good for investors seeking a refuge, according to Nick Hayes, head of active U.K. fixed income at Axa Investment Managers.What works particularly well when asset prices are bouncing around? Combine core government bonds with short- and long-dated credit, while owning emerging-market assets and equities, which results in a low-volatility portfolio, London-based Hayes said in an interview in Singapore on Monday.“We like being long duration, and being long high-quality duration like France, Germany and the U.S.,” Hayes said. “We are long parts of emerging markets, U.S. high yield and sterling credit, and Brexit is throwing up some attractive opportunities.”The U.K. currency and stocks are cheap right now as markets price in a fairly severe Brexit outcome, Hayes said. The base case for Axa IM, which had $862 billion under management as of June, is that a deal gets reached close to the deadline or possibly right after.Read more: What to Expect From the Brexit Showdown in ParliamentWithin emerging markets, Hayes likes Brazil and Colombia, along with “attractive double-digit yields” from Chinese high-yield and Indonesia credit and sovereigns, he said.Globally, he sees yields remaining low and possibly even declining further, as “there are just not enough bonds and too many buyers.”Another thing Hayes is watching: The global stockpile of negative-yielding debt that recently surpassed $17 trillion. He doesn’t see the trend reversing anytime soon, and thinks people may have changed their behavior because of it, taking on riskier investments than they might have done otherwise, hoping for better returns.Read more about the stock of negative-yielding debt exceeding $17 trillion.“People are hunting for yield where yield doesn’t exist,” he said.(Updates with link to story on negative-yielding debt at bottom.)\--With assistance from Matt Turner.To contact the reporter on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Andrew Monahan at email@example.com, Ken McCallumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. One influential European Central Bank voice has been notably absent so far in the debate over whether to ramp up stimulus.Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, monetary chief for the euro zone’s second-largest economy, has yet to say whether he thinks the bloc needs a major package including an interest-rate cut and the restart of quantitative easing.His silence is becoming conspicuous after a week which exposed divisions on the Governing Council over the way forward. The heads of the German and Dutch central banks, as well as an ECB Executive Board member, said they see no compelling need to resume bond purchases, and the Austrian governor said he’ll probably be critical of more easing. At the same time, the Spanish and Finnish governors said restarting QE must remain an option.That split makes Villeroy’s position potentially critical for market expectations over what officials will deliver when they meet on Sept. 12. While President Mario Draghi has effectively primed markets for action, investors are uncertain how far he’ll be able to go.“Villeroy de Galhau might be able to influence the magnitude of the move.” said Anatoli Annenkov, senior economist at Societe Generale in London. “If we have the known hawks, they can be outvoted. If there’s more opposition, that might be a different thing.”The French governor has until Wednesday evening to make his view public, after which the Governing Council goes into its quiet period. Because of a rota system to smooth decision-making, he doesn’t have a vote at the meeting itself. In practice though, his views will still carry weight and policy makers rarely resort to voting, aiming instead for consensus or unanimity.Villeroy hasn’t commented on monetary policy since before the last session in July, when the council ordered ECB staff to examine all policy options including resuming QE. That decision was sparked in part by concern that investors and the public might be doubting the institution’s ability to boost inflation.Villeroy said in early July that there must be no doubt over the ECB’s ability to increase stimulus.But he has also said policy should be guided by economic data rather than market expectations. Such sentiment was echoed last week by ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos, who said investor bets should be taken “with a pinch of salt.”Rate CutTraders in money markets are pricing around 16 basis points of easing at the meeting. Some, such as RBC Capital Markets, are looking for an immediate 20 basis-point cut in the deposit rate -- currently minus 0.4% -- with more to come later in the year. Banks including Goldman Sachs, Nomura, and ABN Amro predict a new round of QE.ECB policy makers are leaning toward a stimulus package that includes a rate cut, compensation for banks for the side effects of negative rates and a pledge to keep them low for longer, Reuters reported on Tuesday, without saying where it got the information.The economic outlook looks bleak, with U.S. trade protectionism and the U.K.’s Brexit troubles hitting confidence. A report on Monday confirmed that euro-zone manufacturing has been in recession for seven months, and services could follow.Despite 2.6 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion) of bond purchases from 2015 to the end of last year, half a decade of negative interest rates and free loans to banks, consumer-price growth is at 1% -- just half the ECB’s goal.Yet Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, his German colleague on the ECB’s Executive Board, Sabine Lautenschlaeger, and Dutch Governor Klaas Knot all said last week that QE should only kick in again if the economy deteriorates further.The opposing view has been most forcefully put forward by Finland‘s Olli Rehn, who called last month for a comprehensive stimulus package that would overshoot market expectations. Bank of Spain chief Pablo Hernandez de Cos said on Saturday that it would be a mistake to take QE off the table at the next meeting because it complements and enhances the other measures.Slovak governor Peter Kazimir said last week that the 25-person Governing Council will need “broad unity” to maintain its credibility. That’s something Draghi has largely managed to achieve in his eight years in office, persuading most of the doubters to join him.This time, in his penultimate policy meeting before handing over to Christine Lagarde, his task will be harder if the council remains so deeply divided. That makes clarification of Villeroy’s position all the more important.“If the Germans really don’t want a big package and the French are lukewarm then it starts to become a bit of an issue for Draghi,” said Gilles Moec, chief economist at Axa in London. “My impression is that hawks really are fed up and quite a few doves may be starting to think -- is this worth it?”(Updates with report on package in 11th paragraph.)\--With assistance from John Ainger.To contact the reporters on this story: Piotr Skolimowski in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jana Randow in Frankfurt at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Hurricane Dorian, which battered the Bahamas early on Monday, could cause insurance industry losses of up to $25 billion, according to analysts at UBS. Dorian, the second-strongest Atlantic storm on record, was forecast to pound the archipelago through the day, then move slowly towards the east U.S. coast, where authorities ordered more than a million people evacuated in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.
(Bloomberg) -- A once-unthinkable collapse in global bond yields is forcing pension funds to buy bonds that offer negative returns -- putting the financial security of future retirees in jeopardy.U.S. institutions managing trillions of dollars in retirement savings -- including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System -- have been ratcheting down return expectations. Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest, has warned that money managers risk losses across asset classes. In Europe, pension funds may be forced to cut benefits in part thanks to the decline in rates.Investors were already taking on more credit risk to make up for dwindling income elsewhere, with some chasing less liquid markets like private debt. Now, negative yields on over a quarter of investment-grade bonds -- with more monetary easing to come -- are increasing the urgency for portfolio managers to find new sources of returns.“The true madness is pension funds being forced to invest in assets which will be guaranteed to lose, such as in the case of long dated inflation-linked gilts at real yields of -3%,” said Mark Dowding, chief investment officer at BlueBay Asset Management, which has pension-fund mandates. “It is financial vandalism and the government and central banks need to wake up to this.”Pension funds invest in a variety of assets, but most including defined-benefit plans use low-risk assets such as government bonds as the benchmark discount rate. While that means they have profited from the fixed-income rally, falling yields have also driven up future liabilities -- in turn threatening their ability to meet oncoming obligations.“The $16 trillion of nominal negative yielding bonds in the world right now -- for the pension industry that’s not a good outcome,” Nigel Wilson, the chief executive offer of Legal & General Group Plc, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Ben Meng, chief investment officer of Calpers said earlier this year that the expected return over the next 10 years would be 6.1%, down from a previous target of 7%. Scott Minerd, chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners, warns that the Federal Reserve’s policy easing is contributing to a likely government-bond bubble and that very narrow credit spreads have greater potential to widen.Ten-year yields are negative across higher-rated European government bond markets while Germany’s entire curve fell below zero. Similar rates are also sub-zero in Japan, while they’ve recently hit record lows in Australia and New Zealand. In the U.S., 30-year Treasury rates hit an all-time low of 1.91% this month.‘Dire’ SituationPeter Borgdorff at Dutch fund PFZW blamed “that ever-lower interest rate” for its coverage ratio that stood at 94.8% at the end of July.“The financial situation of PFZW is starting to get dire,” Borgdorff wrote in his blog. “A pension reduction in the year 2021 has been threatening for some time. But if we have a coverage ratio at the end of this year that is lower than around 94%, we should already reduce pensions even next year.”The plunge in yields risks spawning a vicious circle for the industry. The squeeze on returns tends to widen funding gaps, forcing managers or employers to inject more cash into the plans. That’s money which could have otherwise been used to fuel business or consumption so economic growth may take a hit -- boosting calls for even more monetary easing.Shrinking Assets“The overall impact is that lower yields can induce households or companies that act as plan sponsors, to save even more for the future,” said Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, a strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co, in a recent note. “In our conversations with clients, the experiments of central banks with negative rates are viewed more as a policy mistake rather than stimulus.”Pension assets dropped 4% in 2018 to $27.6 trillion, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. While gains on stocks have helped plug funding gaps, it’s no secret that income-starved managers have dived into less liquid assets.One way out of the pension quagmire is to allow more retirement funds to invest in “real assets in the real economy,” said Wilson at Legal & General. Cases are legion. One of the Nordic region’s largest pension funds is reducing its stock of government bonds for alternative assets, which could include real estate and private equity. A scheme for the retired clergy in England is shifting allocations to private credit. A fund for U.K. railworkers, meanwhile, is looking to boost exposure to private debt to as much as 40% within a private-investment strategy totaling 4.5 billion pounds ($5.5 billion) across two funds.Chris Iggo, chief investment officer for fixed income at AXA Investment Managers, frets over the fallout from this extended era of ultra-low yields.“In 2008, most people in the markets had no idea about the leveraged web of instruments that were ultimately linked to the housing market in the U.S.,” he wrote in a note, referring to the subprime debt crisis. “We should be worried about lower and lower bond yields...They may cause some, as yet not fully understood, tensions in the financial system with structural implications.”(Adds comments from CEO of Legal & General.)\--With assistance from Liz Capo McCormick, Charlotte Ryan and Tom Keene.To contact the reporter on this story: Anchalee Worrachate in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anil Varma, Sid VermaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Electric luxury cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) may be 40% more likely to cause accidents than their standard engine counterparts, possibly because drivers are still getting used to their quick acceleration, French insurer AXA said. The numbers, based on initial trends from claims data and not statistically significant, also suggest small and micro electric cars are slightly less likely to cause accidents than their combustion engine counterparts, AXA said at a crash test demonstration on Thursday. This year's tests, which took place at a disused airport, focused on electric cars.
French insurer AXA's net profit fell 17% in the first half of the year after booking charges related to the valuation of its remaining stake in Axa Equitable Holdings and the mark-to-market valuation of derivatives. AXA, the second-largest European insurer after Germany's Allianz, said its net profit fell to 2.33 billion euros ($2.6 billion) from 2.8 billion a year ago. The French insurer booked charges worth 1.4 billion euros, including 789 million euros, related to the mark-to-market valuation of derivatives and a 600 million euros write-down of its remaining 38.9% stake in Axa Equitable Holdings.
The Indian government on Friday said it will consider further liberalizing foreign direct investment (FDI) rules in certain sectors, part of its efforts to make Asia's third-largest economy a more attractive investment destination. Presenting the annual budget for 2019/20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government would hold discussions with stakeholders to relax FDI rules in the aviation, media, animation and insurance sectors, and ease rules for single-brand retailers.
LONDON/NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - Rivals to Lloyd's of London are riding a rising tide of marine insurance rates, leaving the 330-year-old market behind after it jettisoned sections of its oldest line of business last year. Premiums for marine insurance, which until 2018 had fallen for years due to rising competition and lower claims, are increasing after a surge in catastrophe losses in the past two years and growing geopolitical tensions.. For Lloyd's, still reeling from two years of losses due to the heavy claims from natural disasters, it will still take 12-24 months before the segment returns to profit, Chief Executive John Neal told Reuters in New York last week.