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Data room: Share price movements

(Re)insurers up as Fed keeps tap on

Most US-listed (re)insurers climbed last week in another week of outperformance for the sub-sector.

The big winners were mostly specialty P&C insurers, including WR Berkley, RLI and AmTrust Financial, which all reported weekly advances of more than 4 percent.

This compared to a 1.3 percent rise in the S&P 500, which was driven by the surprise news that the US Federal Reserve had left its asset purchasing programme unchanged.

AmTrust continued to defy its critics in the short-selling community to climb 5.8 percent for the week. The company last week continued its acquisitive streak with the $85mn purchase of Insco Dico Group - a surety-focused insurer.

PartnerRe's shares climbed 2.5 percent. The company last week said it expected a loss of up to $60mn from German hail storms in July, in line with its European reinsurance rivals.

Tower Group continued its freefall, declining a further 33 percent in the week after it again postponed its Q2 results announcement due to complications in estimating reserve levels. This occurred in exceptionally high volume, with over 23 million shares changing hands in the last three days of the week alone, compared to a 700,000 average daily volume in the 30 preceding trading days.

Beazley continues revival

Shares in Beazley climbed strongly for a second consecutive week, as the (re)insurer recovers from a bout of underperformance following its H1 earnings miss.

Beazley's shares climbed 4.2 percent last week, extending its cumulative gain in September to almost 9 percent.

However, it is still almost 6 percent down in the third quarter after investors punished the stock heavily for missing earnings expectations, which was mainly caused by mark-to-market investment losses that are expected to largely unwind in the second half of the year.

Amlin also performed strongly last week, at up 2.2 percent.

Allianz continues strong September

Shares in Germany-based Allianz continued their recent good run last week, climbing 3.7 percent for the period.

This extends the gain for the current month to date to almost 8 percent for Europe's biggest insurance group.

Most of Allianz's peer European composite insurers traded roughly flat last week.

Aon's shares leap on heavy buying

Shares in Aon climbed 10 percent last week amid heavy buying activity.

The shares traded at around 3.2 million per day on average, including over 4 million trades in four days. This compared to a daily average of 1.3 million trades over the preceding 30 trading days.

Aon's shares closed on the New York Stock Exchange at $75.52 last week, valuing the firm at $23bn.

The week's rally took the firm's share price rise in the third quarter to over 17 percent, while its year-to-date movement is a gain of almost 36 percent.

JLT's shares also performed strongly last week, as analysts applauded the London-listed broker's surprise deal to buy the reinsurance broking arm of US consultancy group a for $250mn in cash.

JLT plans to merge the Towers Watson unit with its own reinsurance broking arm, JLT Re, creating a "new force" in the reinsurance market with combined revenues of $266mn and a 700-strong workforce spread across 17 countries.

"We view this as an excellent deal for JLT, a signal of its ambition and statement of intent in the reinsurance broking world," Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan said, describing the takeover as "a terrific snatch operation from under the nose of Willis".

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