Established in 1997, the Tesco banking business employs thousands of staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Established in 1997, the Tesco banking business employs thousands of staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.

Edinburgh-based Tesco Bank’s chief executive Gerry Mallon described the acquisition of Ageas’s holding in Tesco Underwriting as a “significant step” in the financial division’s development.

Tesco Bank will acquire Ageas’s 50.1 per cent stake in the underwriting joint venture for a total of £104 million plus Ageas’s part of any change in net asset value realised by Tesco Underwriting from 30 June until closing of the deal. In addition, Ageas will receive a reimbursement of an internal loan for an amount of £21m.

The bank said all parties would work closely “to ensure a smooth transition” ahead of the formal change in control, which is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2021.

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Bosses said the partnership had been valuable for both Tesco Bank and Ageas since the joint venture was established ten years ago, underwriting Tesco Bank-branded car and home insurance policies that have “proved popular with customers”. In 2014, the partnership was extended for a further seven years, to 2021.

The bank added: “This investment is in line with Tesco Bank’s strategy of focusing on propositions which better meet the needs of Tesco shoppers, and builds on the unique offering insurance customers already benefit from as part of the wider Tesco family, such as the guaranteed Clubcard discount.”

Ageas is to focus on developing its core business and broker distribution channel.

Mallon said: “[This] announcement is a significant step in Tesco Bank’s development which underlines our commitment to the insurance market and our customers.

“We look forward to doing more of what we know our customers want – offering products that have a strong emphasis on value,

Last off-season, Kevin Labanc did the Sharks a real solid by signing a one-year, $1 million contract. This time around, Labanc can take more than just bank puns to the bank, as the Sharks signed him to a four-year extension.

The Sharks didn’t confirm the financial details, but The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the deal carries a robust $4.75 million cap hit.

As you can see, the Sharks signed LaBanc to a contract that follows the pattern of back-loaded deals trying to account for COVID uncertainty.

Sharks sign Kevin Labanc to big four-year extension

Judging from the reactions, Sharks fans and media aren’t impressed by this contract. After adding this $4.75M cap hit to the Sharks’ salary structure, San Jose has about $3M in space, according to Puck Pedia.

Considering the disastrous season the Sharks suffered through, it’s not shocking that fans blanche at a big-money contract. Particularly since it’s going toward keeping a player around, rather than adding a breath of fresh air.

At face value, Labanc’s season (14 goals, 33 points in 70 games) was a letdown. But it’s not all bad.

Not all bad for the Sharks, but not ideal

By a wide variety of underlying stats, the 24-year-old was more useful than the box scores might have indicated.

That said, nearing $5M per year makes it tougher to accept Transformers-ian “more than meets the eye” assurances.

Here’s what Sharks GM Doug Wilson said about Labanc, for whatever that’s worth.

“Kevin brings a rare level of offensive skill and creativity to our line-up and has

Nigeria’s substantial oil and gas reserves, its young and growing population and its position as Africa’s largest economy continue to point to significant development potential for its insurance sector. However, Nigeria has failed to deliver on that potential historically due in part to the volatility of growth in the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP), coupled with the sporadic enforcement of mandatory retail insurance lines.

In a new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Nigeria’s Insurance Market Offers Significant Potential Despite Headwinds”, AM Best notes that, due to the COVID-19-driven economic slowdown, the insurance market regulator (National Insurance Commission [NAICOM]) has agreed to further delay its revised plans to strengthen market capitalisation and limit the volume of premium flowing out of the country.

NAICOM has now opted for a staggered approach that requires partial recapitalisation by December 2020, with market participants obliged to meet the full requirements by September 2021. AM Best believes that a material proportion of (re)insurers will find it challenging to raise sufficient additional capital to meet the new standards. It estimates that only one fifth of Nigerian (re)insurers at year-end 2018 had sufficient capital and surplus to cover the new requirements. In addition, more than 10 companies will have to double their reported 2018 year-end capital and surplus figures to meet the requirements.

To access a complimentary copy of this market segment report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=301771.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the head of the EU’s executive, Ursula von der Leyen, agreed in a phone call on Saturday to step up Brexit talks to close “significant gaps” barring a new trade partnership.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside Downing Street after recovering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, April 27, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo

The two sides have said this week’s round of negotiations aimed at getting a new, post-Brexit trade agreement from 2021 made some progress but not yielded a breakthrough.

The EU says a deal must be sealed by the end of the month – or in the first days of November at the very latest – to leave enough time for ratification in the bloc by the end of the year.

Johnson and von der Leyen discussed the next steps in their call on Saturday.

“They agreed on the importance of finding an agreement, if at all possible, as a strong basis for a strategic EU-UK relationship in future,” they said in a joint statement.

“Progress had been made in recent weeks but … significant gaps remained, notably but not only in the areas of fisheries, the level playing field, and governance,” it added.

The two leaders instructed their Brexit negotiators, Michel Barnier and David Frost, “to work intensively in order to try to bridge those gaps”.

Johnson said earlier on Saturday the UK continued to push for a Canada-style deal with the EU, but was also ready to sever current close-knit trade ties and default to general World Trade Organization rules, which include quotas and tariffs.

“I think there’s a good deal to be done,” he said. “There’s a big opportunity for both sides to do well.”

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