News Briefs

DEVELOPING MARKETS

Baloise Group enters Serbia

Swiss insurer Baloise Group has inaugurated its
first two units in Serbia, life insurer Zivotno Osiguranje Basler
and general insurer Nezivotno Osiguranje Basler. Products meet the
needs of doctors and other medical personnel, a strategy that has
proved successful in its Croatian unit, Baloise Group said.

DEVELOPING MARKETS

LIC enters credit card market

A new joint venture targeting India’s fast-growing credit card
market has been launched by state-owned Life Insurance Corporation
of India (LIC), which is India’s largest life insurance company,
Indian bank Corporation Bank and GE Money, a unit of US
conglomerate General Electric.

DISABILITY INSURANCE

Solid US group disability sales

Group disability insurance product sales of $1.32 billion in the US
in the first half of 2007 were up 15 percent compared with the
first half of 2006, according to a survey conducted by JHA, a unit
of reinsurer General Re Life. Both new long-term and short-term
disability insurance premium sales registered increases of 15
percent, to $915 million and $402 million, respectively.

JOINT VENTURES

Mitsui and Stone Point team up

US private equity firm Stone Point Capital and Japanese trading,
logistics and investment company Mitsui have joined forces to
explore investment opportunities in insurance and reinsurance
markets in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. Stone Point, which has $8
billion in committed capital, primarily targets investments in the
insurance and financial services industries, including
underwriting, distribution and services, benefits and health care,
asset management and retirement savings, and banking and depository
institutions.

REINSURANCE

Munich Re enters takaful market

German reinsurer Munich Re has established a branch in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia entirely devoted to serving Islamic Sharia
law-compliant takaful product providers. The Munich Re branch
offers general retakaful, the Islamic equivalent of general
reinsurance, and family retakaful, the equivalent of life
reinsurance. The branch will initially write business in Malaysia
and will extend activities to other South-East Asian countries and
beyond in the future.