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February 2012/3

  • Diversified (re)insurance investor Tawa has signalled its intent to ramp up its presence in the London market with the launch of an ambitious new wholesale broker.
  • More than 30 passengers from the ill-fated final cruise of the Costa Concordia have joined a lawsuit that charges the vessel's owners with fraudulent misrepresentation and inducement, taking the total number of plaintiffs to 39.
  • Mitsui Oil & Exploration has announced it will pay $45mn to the US Justice Department and around $25mn in total to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for pollution violations, ahead of the Deepwater Horizon trial in two weeks.
  • Live-market (re)insurers currently trading below book value would make a "logical" target for run-off buyers, according to Validus CEO Ed Noonan.
  • Tawa - the UK listed company controlled by billionaires François Pinault and Lakshmi Mittal - is considering separating its run-off and (re)insurance service businesses in a bid to spark interest in its moribund share price.
  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to clamp down on excessive whiplash injury claims, which are costing motor insurers up to £2bn a year and driving up premiums on individual policies by £90 on average.
  • The global insurance industry has saved almost $3bn from amendments made to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca), according to KPMG estimates.
  • Revived measures in President Obama's 2013 budget to forbid tax deductions for reinsurance premiums ceded to foreign-based affiliates once again divided industry groups, pleasing heavyweight US insurers such as WR Berkley and Liberty Mutual but sparking opposition from other trade groups.
  • A rare outbreak of bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill last week could end the long-running saga over renewing the authorisation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • The AlphaCat Re 2011 sidecar run by Bermudian reinsurer Validus has expanded to around $280mn, according to sources.
  • Hedge funds are showing renewed interest in the reinsurance sector after the 2011 catastrophe losses, according to AM Best.
  • Bermudian collateralised reinsurance writer Aeolus raised and deployed about $1.2bn in capital over the past year as it evolved from a private equity partnership into a third party funds manager, sister publication Trading Risk has reported.