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February 2009/3

  • Swizerland-based Paris Re's hopes for hiked reinsurance prices at the key 1/1 renewals were not fully realised with "meaningful increases”"only apparent in classes affected by losses, as loss free programs were...
  • Bermudian (re)insurer IPCRe saw its 2008 operating income fall by a relatively modest 19 percent to $258.7mn, compared to $317.9mn in 2007, as it revealed a loss ratio for the year of 40.2 percent.
  • After 2008's string of natural and man-made catastrophe losses triggered one of the costliest years on record, a succession of disasters including the Australian wildfires, European winter storm Klaus and two plane crashes have started...
  • All three major global broking groups' annual results were well received by investors as the results of tight cost control plans offset negative or patchy growth in the soft market-affected top lines at Aon, MMC and Willis.
  • Venture capital partnership Alpine Risk Services has launched to finance insurance broking, underwriting agency and ancillary insurance firms, committing sums of up to £10mn directly or with investment partners, The Insurance Insider can reveal.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Beazley Group plc is to raise £150mn in its rights issue as it said it is boosting its US presence with the acquisition of an underwriting manager and restructuring its operations with a Jersey holding company...
  • Shareholders of Chaucer Holdings plc - the Lloyd's insurer that is exciting M&A interest - approved the £75mn equity net fundraising designed to plug a hole in its 2009 capital requirements.
  • AXIS Capital posted a 66.8 percent drop in full-year net income for 2008 to $351mn compared with $1.1bn for 2007, a result which founding CEO and president John Charman said reflected the negative impact of “the extreme volatility of the global financial markets” on the Bermudian’s alternative investment portfolio.
  • Argo Group's full year 2008 net profit fell 56 percent to $62.9mn as underwriting losses at its international specialty segment, combined with modest investment write-downs and the loss of a flattering extraordinary item relating to the 2007 acquisition of PXRE Group, made their presence felt.
  • Munich Re has progressed from its iconic world map of natural hazards which first appeared in 1978 and pooled its research in the field of geo-risks onto digital format in the form of a DVD.
  • QBE Europe confirmed last week it is to acquire the renewal rights and to the portfolio of mainly UK industrial and commercial property business written by Endurance Worldwide Insurance Ltd from London, taking on 30 Endurance employees in the process.
  • Despite concerns over its Standard & Poor's rating, Bermudian Everest Re saw its share price jump last week after its Q4 operating performance outstripped analysts' expectations.