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December 2007/1

  • Specialist broker THB Group plc has entered into talks with PWS Holdings over the acquisition of PWS' Lloyd’s broking business and overseas interests.
  • Ratings agency Moody's Investor Services has assigned ratings of Ba1, Ba3 and B3 to the three debt tranches in Bermudian (re)insurer XL Capital's new Cyrus Re II sidecar vehicle.
  • Takeover speculation again gripped reinsurance broker Benfield Group last week as an insurance analyst linked Aon Corp with a possible move for the UK quoted firm.
  • American International Group (AIG) leads both the liability and the hull coverages for the budget airliner that crashed in Turkey killing all on board last Friday (30 November), according to sources.
  • Groupama SA is expected to complete its first insurance linked securities transaction shortly, with its proposed securitisation of EUR200mn of French windstorm risk.
  • UK businesses are facing an "unprecedented threat" from home-grown terrorism, Lloyd's has warned.
  • The merry-go-round of facultative reinsurance broker moves continued last week as Guy Carpenter announced the appointment of Willis broker Catherine Kim.
  • Catlin Group Ltd's financial strength and counterparty credit ratings remain unchanged, despite the (re)insurer announcing that it expects to take a $75mn charge against the value of sub-prime-related securities in its investment portfolio.
  • Ping An Insurance, China's second largest life insurer, bought 4.18 percent of Benelux financial services group Fortis, at a cost of EUR1.81bn, last week.
  • Chaucer Holdings plc became the latest Lloyd's insurer to offer more capital back to shareholders when it promised to increase its total 2007 dividend by 25 percent.
  • US insurer Genworth Financial, Inc has become the latest firm to repurchase shares after announcing a $1bn buyback programme last week.
  • Last week's Martinique earthquake looks set to trigger the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).
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