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Data room: Share price movements

Third Point Re IPO warmly received

Third Point Re's shares enjoyed a strong first week of trading after its stock market debut on Thursday (15 August), shrugging off the impact of a broader equity market retreat.

The reinsurer's shares defied jittery US markets following its $276mn IPO. The shares ended the week at $13.30 - 6.4 percent higher than the $12.50 price the offering was set at.

The shares significantly outperformed the wider markets, with the S&P 500 down 2.1 percent for the week.

American Safety Insurance saw its share climb by a further 1.7 percent as run-off suitor Catalina continued its bidding war with Canadian conglomerate Fairfax Financial. The share price slipped back by more than 3 percent today after the announcement that Catalina and Fairfax had struck a deal to carve up the business.

Specialty insurer AmTrust's shares slumped 8.7 percent on Friday after it completed the issuance of $250mn of senior notes in a private placement. It ended the week down 6 percent.

Lancashire leads London decline

London-listed (re)insurance shares continued to be out of favour with investors last week, as further declines added to a lacklustre performance in August.

Beazley, Catlin and Hiscox all slipped more than 3 percent during the week, outpacing the 1.3 percent decline of the FTSE 100. Amlin, which reported its H1 results today (19 August), was down 2.7 percent last week.

Beazley, Catlin and Lancashire are all down 6 percent or more in the month to date, with the latter being dragged down by its $408mn acquisition of Lloyd's insurer Cathedral.

Novae was the standout performer, with its shares up 4.1 percent for the week. Peel Hunt analysts have championed the stock, with the stockbroker again identifying Novae as its top pick in the sector last week.

"We believe that Novae is set to enjoy a progressive re-rating, similar to that enjoyed by Beazley over the past three years, as continued delivery results in a reappraisal of the market's view towards the stock," analyst Mark Williamson wrote.

Generali benefits from rating affirmation

Generali's shares climbed 3 percent last week, helped by Fitch affirming its insurer financial strength rating at "A-" following a restructure of its operations.

The rating agency left the negative outlook for the ratings in place, however. Fitch said that while Generali's operating performance in the first half had been good, it still had concerns about its low group regulatory solvency position, high financial leverage and exposure to the Eurozone debt crisis.

Aviva's shares ended the week down 0.5 percent, despite regulators in New York and Iowa giving provisional approval to its plans to divest its US fixed annuity business to private equity buyer Apollo.

The UK-based insurer's shares performed strongly in August at up 7.7 percent, after it reported a better-than-expected 5 percent rise in half-year profit thanks to cost cuts and its strength in life insurance and fund management.

Composite insurer Zurich saw its share price fall after reporting a bigger-than-expected 27 percent drop in its Q2 profit, which was blamed on flood losses and dwindling investment returns. The company's shares ended the week down 4 percent.

Brokers down; Brown & Brown leads way

Insurance brokers traded down last week amid a broader equity market sell-off, with the S&P 500 suffering its worst week in almost two months.

US retail focused Brown & Brown led the decline at down 2.9 percent, outpacing the 2.1 percent fall in the S&P 500 index.

AJ Gallagher was down 2.5 percent for the week, despite the company unveiling the $276.5mn acquisition of rival broker Bollinger Inc.

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