Strong need for mainland China to tap the capital markets: ILS Asia 2021

Mr. Simon Lam, Executive Director, General Business at the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, expects the region’s new ILS regime to “hit the ground running” as mainland China’s insurance market growth continues apace.

With the issuance of Greater Bay Re Ltd., sponsored by China Re, expected soon as the first catastrophe bond to be issued out of Hong Kong, the insurance-linked securities (ILS) universe has a new domicile to choose from.

Like Singapore, Hong Kong’s regime offers a grant scheme which covers some of the issuance costs of cat bond transactions, something which has helped to attract sponsors to Singapore’s platform and which is seen as important for new domiciles to gain traction.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

China’s government supportive of Hong Kong’s ILS strategy: ILS Asia 2021

As options to issue insurance-linked securities (ILS) and catastrophe bonds expand in Asia, with the introduction of Hong Kong as a regulated ILS platform, attendees at our virtual ILS Asia 2021 conference this morning heard of the support China’s government is offering to the initiative.

Our virtual ILS Asia 2021 conference, held in association with headline sponsor AM RE Syndicate Inc., began today with a keynote interview with Mr. Simon Lam, Executive Director, General Business at the Hong Kong Insurance Authority.

This interview can now be viewed on-demand here.

Hong Kong already has an established insurance and reinsurance market, while its legislative preparations for ILS were completed at the beginning of 2021.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

UZBEKISTAN: UNDP helps develop the insurance sector in Uzbekistan

UNDP, together with the Agency for the Insurance Market Development at the Uzbek Ministry of Finance, organized a seminar on June 24, 2021, during which the results of the diagnostics of the development of inclusive insurance and risk financing in Uzbekistan were presented, UzDaily.uz reports.

It was noted that due to the vulnerability of Uzbekistan to natural disasters, which can bring devastating consequences for the economy and the population, as well as the insufficient development of the insurance market and the lack of tools for inclusive insurance and risk financing, the government, enterprises, and households of the country suffer financial losses amounting to millions of USD.

UNDP established a special Risk Insurance and Financing Fund (Mechanism) to provide technical assistance to countries participating in the climate risk insurance program, including Uzbekistan, to develop inclusive insurance, financing sovereign risks, and integrate insurance into development planning and financing processes. At the first stage, the task was set to diagnose the insurance industry in the country, and the results of this study, as well as the recommendations of experts on the development of this sector, were discussed during the seminar.

FULL PUBLICATION HERE

Kazakhstan: Almaty nonchalant over earthquake fears

As Kazakhstan awaits the Big One, its seismologists are underfunded while ever-taller buildings rise in the earthquake-prone commercial capital.

Nur-Sultan may be cold and windy, but at least earthquakes aren’t a concern.

That was Andrei Krasilnikov’s thought when he moved to the capital from Kazakhstan’s mountain-fringed business metropolis, Almaty.

“It was a shame to have to leave our hometown. We have beautiful mountains there, which we don’t have here,” Krasilnikov, an activist opposed to the rapid spread of high-rise construction, told Eurasianet. “But Almaty is in a seismic zone, and I want to live in peace and not have to worry about my family.”

By way of an example, Krasilnikov points to a recently unveiled project to build several dozen 17-story apartment blocks in a tightly packed residential area of Almaty.

“These kinds of ghettos will become a mass grave if there is a powerful earthquake, since rescue equipment will not even be able to drive up through the rubble,” the activist said.

The fears are not without basis. Almaty is in a seismically active region. Mild tremors are fairly common. And seismologists are predicting that a powerful tremor could occur within the coming decade.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Jamaica catastrophe bond grant agreements signed, deal imminent

The project to issue a first catastrophe bond to benefit Jamaica has made further progress this month, with an important grant approval now received and the World Bank facilitated cat bond deal launch now imminent.

Of course, any regular Artemis readers will know that this World Bank project to issue a sovereign catastrophe bond for Jamaica has been underway for a number of years.

In fact, we first wrote about formalised work that had begun between the World Bank and the Jamaican government on a possible catastrophe bond issuance almost three years ago.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Greater Bay Re registered for China Re cat bond in Hong Kong

We’ve learned that the first company destined to be an insurance-linked securities (ILS) special purpose vehicle has already been registered in Hong Kong, with Greater Bay Re Limited established to issue a catastrophe bond on behalf of China Re, sources told us.

It’s an important sign of the state of readiness of Hong Kong’s legislative and regulatory framework for insurance-linked securities (ILS), showing that the Special Administrative Region is now ready for ILS activity and to become a domicile for catastrophe bonds.

The sponsor is also particularly noteworthy, as we’re told it will be China Property and Casualty Reinsurance Company Ltd. (China Re P&C), part of China Reinsurance Corporation, one of the largest insurance and reinsurance companies in China, but also with a global footprint thanks to operations in Lloyd’s of London and Singapore, as well as offices in Hong Kong and New York.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Weather disasters displace more people than any other factor globally in 2020

A new report shows that weather related disasters were the primary driver of displaced people in 2020, with almost three-quarters of people internally displaced affected by weather, with storms and flooding the primary peril drivers of this.

In 2020 alone, some 40.5 million people were internally displaced within their own countries, with conflict and violence the cause of just over one-quarter and weather the rest.

Geophysical natural disasters were also a cause of displacement, with 655,000 people internally displaced by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions during the year.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Hong Kong publishes special purpose insurer (SPI) application guidelines

The Hong Kong Insurance Authority has today published guidelines related to its new insurance-linked securities (ILS) regulatory framework in the Government Gazette, with details on applications to establish special purpose insurers (SPI) in the domicile now finalised.

Hong Kong’s “Guideline on Application for Authorization to Carry On Special Purpose Business (GL 33)” is a comprehensive document that takes the completed legislation and turns it into something more usable, by making it relevant to those looking to apply to establish ILS structures in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).

Hong Kong’s readiness for ILS is now complete and with its pilot ILS grant scheme also available, alongside this guide for issuers and managers that helps in applying to operate ILS structures there, it may only be a matter of time until the first deal emerges.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Hong Kong ILS enquiries already received from potential sponsors

It increasingly looks like Hong Kong could break into the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market before too much longer, as with details of its ILS grant pilot now available, one local law firm said it is already receiving enquiries from potential sponsors.

Back in February, Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, revealed plans for a Pilot Insurance‑linked Securities Grant Scheme that will pay as much as HK $12 million per issuance, which is close to US $1.6 million of potential ILS or catastrophe bond issuance cost savings for sponsors choosing to use Hong Kong as a domicile.

Then, in May this year, Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority (IA) published initial details of the insurance-linked securities (ILS) grant scheme.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Tencent shows tech’s appetite to own access to reinsurance capital

Tencent Holdings Ltd., the Chinese multinational technology conglomerate, has provided one of the clearest examples of a tech giant wanting to own its access to reinsurance capital, a trend we’ve been anticipating would emerge.

Our regular readers know we have a passion for technology, alongside risk transfer and use of efficient capital, believing that the efficiencies of advanced tech can be combined with efficient access to reinsurance capital, in order to provide better, more responsive and ultimately cost-effective insurance products to consumers.

There have been a number of glimpses of this kind of development over the years, with most of the major technology giants of the world having some interest in insurance or reinsurance, or toying with how they themselves access risk capital.

Amazon, Google, Tesla, among others, as well as investors in tech like Softbank, have all been closely linked with initiatives to access reinsurance capital more efficiently, either for pure risk management purposes, or to enable the delivery of customised and better-priced insurance solutions.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE