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February 2004/2

  • Bermudian reinsurer Max Re has reported Q4 net income of $36.4mn, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared to net income of $11mn, or net income of $0.29 per diluted share, for the same period in 2002.
  • US insurer Markel Corporation continued its 2003 improvement by reporting fourth quarter net income of $4.53 per diluted share compared to $2.67 in the comparable period of the previous year.
  • A week after announcing its higher than expected fourth quarter reserve charge, US insurer St Paul unveiled fourth quarter operating figures last Wednesday that just about broke even.
  • US engineering firm Halliburton has announced a $575mn (£317mn) settlement of its asbestos exposures with Equitas, the reinsurer established by Lloyd's in 1996 as a run-off vehicle for its pre-1993 liabilities.
  • US giant The Hartford ended a tumultuous 2003 on a high as it delivered a strong fourth quarter performance to post net income per diluted share of $1.59, 57 percent higher than the $1.01 achieved in the last quarter of 2002.
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), parent of the world’s largest broker Marsh, shrugged off the furore surrounding its troubled investment arm Putnam to announce strong operating results for the fourth quarter and year ending 31 December 2003.
  • Lloyd’s finance director Andrew Moss surprised observers last week when he resigned to become the Group finance director of UK insurer Aviva plc.
  • In a move that will be welcomed by many European insurers, the EU’s chief financial regulator Frits Bolkenstein revealed today (2 February 2004) that unresolved issues over the implementation of new accounting standards should be postponed until 2005.
  • US property casualty giant Travelers announced a solid if unspectacular set of fourth quarter results last Wednesday (28 January), coming in just short of analysts’ consensus estimates, and then learned it was likely to see its S&P ratings aligned with St
  • In the second of the week’s investment rating downgrades, Morgan Stanley analysts have changed their rating on shares of Berkshire Hathaway from overweight to equalweight.
  • Property and catastrophe reinsurer IPC Holdings has had its investment rating downgraded from equal to overweight by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
  • The run-off of the Kwelm group of companies could close as early as next year after the creditors voted to close the scheme last week.
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