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August 2008/2

  • Despite the "extremely competitive market conditions", AXIS Capital's founding chief executive John Charman said the firm's strong second quarter was testament to its underwriting strengths and strategy of diversifying its business relationships.
  • Hannover Re's operating profit was down 14.4 percent in the first half of 2008 to EUR400mn after being hit by a 24.1 percent fall in investment income in the period as the German reinsurance giant missed analyst targets.
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc (MMC) won plaudits last week for its restructuring initiatives after confirming that at least 2,000 jobs will be cut in 2008.
  • As the remainder of the (re)insurance industry's second quarter results trickle through in the coming weeks, a clear distinction is emerging between winners and losers in the sector against the backdrop of a soft market and the deepening credit crunch.
  • US insurer Allstate is thought to have submitted a bid for Royal Bank of Scotland's up-for-sale insurance division (RBSI) of around £5bn, The Insurance Insider understands.
  • Worldwide industrial and natural catastrophe losses helped dent Bermudian (re)insurer Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd (AWAC), which saw net income drop in the first half of 2008 to $210.2mn, against $237.2mn in the prior-year period.
  • German insurer Allianz Group's net earnings fell 28 percent to EUR1.5bn in the second quarter of 2008, due mainly to a poor result in its banking arm, Dresdner Bank, which reported a EUR566mn operating loss for the period.
  • A strong underwriting performance propelled "Class of 2005" Bermudian reinsurer Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings Limited to net income of $74.8mn for the first half of the year.
  • The acquisition of Lloyd's insurer Talbot is continuing to drive increased profits at "Class of 2005" Bermudian reinsurer Validus Reinsurance Ltd.
  • Catlin Group Ltd has posted a good set of results "distorted by poor investment returns that should wash through", according to one analyst.
  • RSA Insurance Group plc shares have climbed 13 percent in little over a week after the insurer posted a leap in profits from £237mn to £292mn.
  • Bermudian Argo Group International Holdings posted a first-half profit of $59.9mn for 2008 - a 30 percent increase despite being hit by storm losses.
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