Acorn’s Deal with MetLife, Berkowitz Analyzes AIG: Financial Biz Update

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In a Monday Shanghai release, the media and branding firm Acorn International (NYSE:ATV) said that it has reached an Insurance Business Cooperation Agreement with United MetLife Insurance Co., which is a joint venture firm established by certain wholly-owned subsidiaries of MetLife (NYSE:MET) and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. MetLife is a top worldwide provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs.

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Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (NYSE:BBVA) intends to divest its first covered bond in 20 months, employing its mortgage division to raise less expensive funds than the government of Spain pays for debt of a similar maturity. To that effect, the bank is offering investors 260 basis points above the reference midswap rate for the five-year bond, while the benchmark government bonds maturing in July 2017 are currently trading at about 365 basis points, a full percentage point higher, says Tradeweb.

Bruce Berkowitz says that American International Group (NYSE:AIG) needs to cut its expenses, which should happen over time, though there has been a large amount of time and energy used in dealing with the Federal Reserve and the United States Treasury along with establishing new information systems. Stock manager Berkowitz added that, “They’re also moving away from low-frequency, high-severity insurance which, in my opinion, is picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. But, I think Peter Hancock, who runs their property-and-casualty business, understands that the one-in-100-year storm happens every five years.”

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