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February 2007/3

  • Shares in Benfield Group fell over 10 percent this morning (8 March) after the company announced a below forecast 2006 result and a worse than expected loss in its fledgling Corporate Risks division.
  • UK insurer Brit Insurance Holdings almost trebled its profits last year as it came in ahead of forecasts.
  • Hannover Re has returned to the capital markets with an innovative transaction it says completes its programme of natural catastrophe protection and gives it “unprecedented independence” from the traditional retro market.
  • Amlin plc opened the Lloyd’s reporting season and set a challenging pace for its peers with record pre-tax profits of £342.7mn on the back of clement cat conditions and its decision to cut back its reinsurance/retro spend.
  • The competitive trading conditions for insurance broking overshadowed Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc’s (JLT) 2006 results this morning where the theme of declining rates and the weak dollar was paramount.
  • US giant American International Group (AIG) reported a rise in its 2007 net income and announced an $8bn share buyback scheme.
  • In a year in which “everything went right in insurance”, investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway reported last night a record gain in net worth during 2006 of $16.9bn.
  • Lloyd’s has strengthened its ties in the fast growing Asian markets with the launch of a Malaysian subsidiary.
  • Despite delivering a doubling of net profits to SFr4.6bn and an unexpected announcement on capital repatriation, Swiss Re’s full-year financials were met with a cautious response by analysts this morning (1 March).
  • Converium, the Swiss reinsurer fighting a hostile takeover battle from rival SCOR, has regained its desired A- financial strength rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
  • The impact on reinsurers of last month’s legislation in Florida may not be quite as severe as first feared, with the state reportedly opting to expand its hurricane catastrophe fund by $12bn, less than the $16bn increase allowed in the bill.
  • Bavarian giant Munich Re has raised its 2007 earnings guidance on the back of record 2006 profits of over EUR3.5bn – 28.5 percent up on the prior year.