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January 2007/1

  • Analysts have broadly welcomed reports that Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) has agreed to sell subsidiary Putnam Investments to Power Corp of Canada for $3.9bn.
  • Catastrophe exposed US reinsurance property rates rose around 40 percent at the 1/1 renewals as reinsurers sought to bring in-line with the mid-year 2006 pricing levels, according to the broker Willis Re.
  • After last year’s record catastrophe insured losses of more than $100bn, the benign conditions of 2005 look like costing the (re)insurance industry just $15bn in losses from natural and man-made catastrophes, according to preliminary figures from Swiss Re
  • Munich Re regained its targeted AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) last month with the rating agency upgrading the German giant from A+ and assigning a stable outlook on 22 December.
  • Munich Re has made its latest foray into the world of reinsurance securitisation with the launch of a $190mn cat bond on behalf of Zurich Financial Services Group (ZFS) to cover Californian earthquake risks.
  • Apparent tensions between Catlin Group and AM Best re-surfaced last month with the rating agency confirming on 20 December that it would maintain its review with negative implications of the insurer’s rating despite the unconditional declaration of its ta
  • Beazley Group plc has increased its share of the capacity on its Lloyd’s syndicates to 81 percent with the acquisition of the corporate capital vehicle Santam Corporate Ltd.
  • US commercial insurers are on course for their best financial performance in nearly 20 years, according to figures from the ISO and Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) covering the first nine months of 2006.
  • HCC Insurance Holdings reported a record third quarter in its delayed earnings report last week and concluded its review of the company’s option granting practices that led to the shock departure of the insurer’s founding chief executive Stephen Way last
  • Ratings agency AM Best downgraded the financial strength rating of General Insurance Corp of India to A- from A on 18 December.
  • Aon Holdings BV announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of the remaining 51 percent of the shares of Moscow-based Aon Rus LLC today (2 January).
  • Swiss giant Zurich Financial Services Group (ZFS) and lead underwriters UBS AG and Merrill Lynch International have been cleared by a US federal judge of securities-fraud claims following the spin-off of reinsurance subsidiary Converium Holding AG in 2001
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