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February 2004/3

  • Legislation curbing the appetite of the US plaintiff bar to launch obesity class action suits took a step closer to reality after a US House of Representatives committee recommended the proposals to a formal vote.
  • Canadian insurance combine Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd revealed a return to underwriting profit last week with “record” earnings of $271.1mn for 2003, which included a positive underwriting contribution of $87.7mn.
  • US insurer Allstate narrowly beat analysts’ projections as it announced a 71 percent increase in net income per share and a 22 percent rise in operating income per share for the fourth quarter 2003.
  • Bermudian giant ACE impressed analysts with a record set of results last Thursday (5 February, 2004), earning $1.4bn in 2003, equivalent to $4.93 per share, and up from $77mn or 19 cents per share the previous year, which was hit by a $354mn fourth quarte
  • Benelux financial services group Fortis announced a $22 per share price for the IPO of its US insurance unit, Assurant on Thursday (5 February) last week.
  • Allianz Australia agreed last month to pay A$120mn to the creditors of HIH, the Australian insurer which collapsed in 2001 with debts of around A$6bn.
  • Latest figures from the International Underwriting Association (IUA) further underline the strength of bumper 2003 underwriting conditions, as the London company market showed a positive cash flow of more than £2.5bn.
  • Willis Group finished 2003 with a healthy organic growth of 15 percent for the year as it revealed total revenues had grown 20 percent to $2076mn.
  • Bermuda based Everest Re saw its fourth quarter net profits double from $55.6mn to $121.8mn, or $2.15 a share, as the reinsurer continued to capitalise on the strong rate environment. Operating profits rose 95.9 percent to $118.6mn excluding realised capi
  • 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 Chubb last week reported $808.8mn in net income for 2003, a 262.9 percent increase on 2002.
  • Swiss Re has agreed to buy the life insurance business of Chicago-based CNA for $690m in cash.
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