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January 2008/3

  • The hard market party enjoyed by (re)insurers over the last few years may be ending, but it is not over yet, according to ABN AMRO analyst Joanna Parsons.
  • Aon Ltd completed as much as 80 percent of its London market 1 January treaty reinsurance renewal placements electronically through the RI3K trading platform, according to the broker.
  • Despite falls in UK insurance stocks over the last six months, valuations broadly remain ahead of their US and Bermudian property casualty counterparts, according to research by Numis Securities.
  • Florida's insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp, is mulling the prospect of buying reinsurance cover to protect itself against this year's hurricane season, Insider Week can reveal.
  • Risk modelling firm Risk Management Services (RMS) is launching a series of natural catastrophe indices for US wind and quake, and European windstorm under the banner Paradex.
  • Derivatives platform Insurance Futures Exchange Services (IFEX) which began trading in US hurricanes as futures contracts last September, now has cumulative trading volumes totalling more than $31mn of (re)insurance limit, equivalent to 3,100 lots, it rev
  • Ron Sandler, the chairman of Bermudian insurer Ironshore Ltd and the former chief executive of Lloyd's, is poised to run the stricken UK bank, Northern Rock, if it is nationalised.
  • Ratings agency Moody's has downgraded the senior secured debt ratings of giant bond insurer MBIA Inc, on the back of "various financial developments and capital initiatives" recently announced by the firm.
  • Countrywide Financial, one of the US's largest mortgage lenders heavily affected by the sub-prime lending debacle, has been purchased by Bank of America in a $4bn all-share deal.
  • Lloyd's insurer Amlin plc has seen its premium income drop 7 percent so far at the January renewals reflecting weaker market conditions.
  • Run-off (re)insurer Alea Group Holdings has agreed to "fully and finally" commute all exposures under an excess-of-loss reinsurance treaty which will see the firm record a net loss of around $8.8mn in the 2007 fourth quarter.
  • UK regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has appointed Sally Dewar as new managing director of wholesale.
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