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June 2005/1

  • Reinsurance broker Benfield Group has warned that 2005 profits will be lower than last years because of an increasing cost base. Shares in the group fell by 10 percent from 276.75p to 250p in early trading on the London stock exchange, despite the firm
  • Amlin plc has confirmed that it is in discussions with fellow Lloyd's insurer Chaucer plc about a possible takeover.
  • Lloyd's insurer Chaucer Holdings plc has confirmed that it has received an indicative takeover approach "which may or may not lead to an offer being made".
  • Despite boosting asbestos reserves by £167mn, Lloyd's pre-1993 run-off vehicle Equitas heralded a year of progress which has left it in a stronger financial condition as it announced its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2005 today (7 June).
  • The European Parliament has approved the reinsurance directive which paves the way for a regulatory level playing field for companies operating in Europe.
  • Lloyd's insurer Catlin has had its issuer credit rating on its Syndicate 2003 downgraded from "a+" to "a" by rating agency AM Best partly over fears of further deterioration on the group’s exposure to legal expenses.
  • Ten Lloyd’s syndicates, together with insurance companies, sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last week over its claims that it is still owned $2.1bn from the WTC attacks.
  • Lloyd's reinsurer Advent Capital saw its share price rise by 7 percent on the first day of trading in the company’s stock on Friday, 3 June. Advent shares rose from their AIM debut of 35p to 37.5p, lifting the company’s market capitalisation to £82mn.
  • Rating agency Fitch has suggested the UK non-life market should enjoy the good times while it can, warning that the improving fortunes of the sector in the last two financial years are unlikely to be sustained.
  • Leading (re)insurance brokers Willis and Guy Carpenter have released reports praising recent progress at Lloyd’s in what was a challenging year for the industry.
  • A senior executive at Berkshire Hathaway’s reinsurance subsidiary General Re has pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal conspiracy brought in relation to the company’s transaction with American International Group (AIG).
  • Reinsurance giant Swiss Re announced last week that it is streamlining its reporting structures into three units in a bid to focus on "profitable growth and the efficient use of capital".
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