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July 2007/2

  • Companies who think more astutely about managing their risk exposures will reduce the volatility in the cost of financing risk, according to a report by broker Marsh.
  • Hannover Re is to open a branch office in Bahrain to support the (re)takaful business it opened in the kingdom last year.
  • Lloyd’s listed company Amlin plc became the latest insurer to obtain greater control of its distribution networks when it acquired the underwriting agency Allied Cedar Insurance Group last week.
  • US insurer The Travelers Cos announced last week it has settled one its largest asbestos cases for a total of $449mn.
  • Insurers are electing to retain more risk, which is fuelling greater competition among reinsurers, according to Willis Re’s review of the mid-year renewals published last week.
  • Forecaster Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) has lowered its prediction for the North Atlantic hurricane season from 55 percent above the norm to 40 percent.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer Validus Holdings said last week it expects to raise around $311mn in net proceeds assuming an offer price of $25 in its forthcoming initial public offering (IPO).
  • Relations between Catlin Group Ltd and AM Best appear to have thawed with the Bermuda-headquartered (re)insurer welcoming the agency’s move to assign ratings to its US admitted lines operation, and upgrade Catlin Specialty Insurance Company (CSIC).
  • On the eve of publication of the European Commission (EC) Solvency II directive, (re)insurance groups and niche players are set to benefit from the proposed capital changes, but mid-sized, generalist companies may lose out, according to accounting firm P
  • The scale of the UK’s flood damage is now likely to cost the insurance industry more than £1.5bn, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
  • Lloyd’s members’ agent Hampden Agencies Ltd is set to derail the proposed merger of AIM-listed insurer Heritage Underwriting Agency plc’s syndicates, after it recommended that Names reject the plan.
  • Liechtenstein-based liability insurer Gable Insurance had its shares suspended from the AIM stock exchange at 16p after missing the deadline to post its audited results for 2006.