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April 2007/3

  • Lloyd's has announced tie-ups with the outsourcing firm Xchanging and the trading platform RI3K that will enable its new Chinese reinsurance operation to trade electronically.
  • Takaful insurance is the key to increasing insurance awareness in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), capitalising on the positive economic dynamics of the region, according to a report published by Standard & Poor's (S&P).
  • This year's North Atlantic hurricane season will provide a "litmus test" for the (re)insurance industry's ability to adapt, according to Fitch Ratings.
  • Reports published in the last week have again warned the insurance industry to expect increased financial losses as weather-related catastrophes worsen as a result of climate change.
  • Undervalued reinsurance stocks should be a target for investors, despite the common belief that shares in the sector trade down as the hurricane season approaches, according to analysts at investment bank Bear Stearns.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer Max Re Capital Ltd is raising $100mn to repay short-term debt at its subsidiary Max USA Holdings Ltd.
  • Bermudian insurer Aspen has completed its search for a new chief financial officer with the appointment of Richard Houghton.
  • SCOR officially launched its hostile takeover bid for rival Converium last week (4 April) as it provided further details of the rationale behind the proposed deal which it hopes will create a top 5 global reinsurer and yield an A+ rating by 2010.
  • The multinational broking giants – namely Marsh, Aon, Willis et al – may still be suffering from the effects of a Spitzer-induced hangover, but elsewhere it is becoming difficult to ignore the growing interest in the industry from prospective acquirers.
  • German giant Allianz has become the first insurer to transfer flood risk to the capital markets with a $150mn cat bond issued by Cayman Island’s special purpose vehicle Blue Wings Ltd.
  • The US property and casualty industry has made significant progress in funding its asbestos liabilities, according to rating agency AM Best.
  • Royal Indemnity, previously the US arm of Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA), has settled with MBIA Inc, one of the plaintiffs in the Student Finance Corporation litigation.