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June 2005/2

  • Fellow Lloyd's insurers Hardy Underwriting Group plc and Omega Underwriting Holdings plc remain in merger talks despite the failure of two approaches.
  • Jeremy Pinchin, the head of Reinsurance and Claims at the Society and a senior member of the Franchise Performance directorate, has resigned from Lloyd’s.
  • Ratings agency AM Best has upgraded the financial strength rating of London (re)insurer QBE to "A" (Excellent) from "A-" (Excellent) and the company's issuer credit rating to "a+" from "a-", citing a stable outlook for both ratings.
  • French reinsurer SCOR last Friday (10 June) announced restructuring plans, reflecting the change in its profile brought about by the so-called “Moving Forward” plan actioned by the group in August last year to continue its recovery.
  • American International Group (AIG) disclosed last week that Howard I Smith, the company's former chief financial officer, has resigned from its board.
  • Merrill Lynch analyst Blair Stewart has reaffirmed his “buy” recommendation on Paris based (re)insurance giant Axa, while also increasing its price objective by 4 percent to EUR25.
  • Corporate Britain rates loss of reputation and business interruption as its biggest health risks in 2005, according to a survey by broker Aon ahead of the annual conference of The Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (AIRMIC) which kicks off in Brig
  • Reinsurance broker Benfield Group has warned that 2005 profits will be lower than last year because of an increasing cost base.
  • 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.
  • After approving competition directorate proposals, the European Commission (EC) has today (13 June) announced the launch of a competition investigation into the commercial insurance sector.
  • A positive trading update from Lloyd’s (re)insurer Wellington was enough to give the company’s share price a small fillip to close up 4.61 percent at 107.75p Wednesday last week.
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