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August 2007/4

  • Lloyd’s investment vehicle Hampden Underwriting plc (HUP) is pushing ahead with its £15mn floatation on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and trading is expected to commence on 4 September.
  • First half earnings at insurance giant Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) rose by a third to $2.7bn despite the firm suffering a 3.9 percent deterioration in its combined ratio in the second quarter due to UK flood losses.
  • Shares in Hiscox Ltd increased over 5 percent this morning after the company was propelled to a record half-year profit before tax of £105.6mn, up 72.1 percent, by the stellar performance of its Global Markets division.
  • Australian insurer QBE Insurance Group saw its share price jump 11 percent to A$30.52 today (20 August) on the back of record interim results and a surge in equity markets following last week’s sell-off.
  • This year’s first North Atlantic hurricane, Dean, has struck Jamaica causing up to $3bn in insured losses according to early estimates, and is now heading for Mexico.
  • Slivers of optimism have appeared within the (re)insurance industry despite last week’s brutal stock market conditions which saw the S&P 500 Property/Casualty insurers index fall 10 percent in just two days as sub-prime jitters...
  • As Hurricane Dean bears down on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, there are few signs of trading around industry loss warranties (ILWs) and the other hedging strategies typically employed in anticipation of a major hurricane loss.
  • Despite moderate price reductions, the Lloyd’s listed (re)insurer Heritage Underwriting Agency plc’s said rates are “still at very acceptable levels” in its latest syndicate forecasts.
  • Listed Lloyd’s insurer Hardy Underwriting Group impressed analysts after upgrading its syndicate forecasts in a “bullish” trading statement on 16 August.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Chaucer Holdings plc has confirmed it will increase its motor portfolio to offset the reduction in capacity in its other classes.
  • Lloyd’s (re)insurer Kiln plc released full details of its investment portfolio last week, as market uncertainty continued over insurance company’s exposure to sub-prime debt and collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).
  • According to reports last week, the European Commission (EC) is set to investigate the role of rating agencies over their response to the US sub-prime mortgage crisis.
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