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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 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.
  • 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.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Wellington has appointed outsourcing firm Xchanging to handle its treaty claims written before it spun-off its reinsurance arm into Aspen in 2002.
  • AXA’s 2003 revenues were down 4.1 percent to €71.6bn today (2 February) as the French giant revealed turnover was affected by the strong Euro, the sale of overseas businesses in Australia, Austria and Hungary and its retrenchment from reinsurance.
  • Sian Fisher became the second respected London market executive to announce a surprise resignation last week when she ended her 18-year relationship with Hiscox, a day after Lloyd’s finance director Andrew Moss resigned.