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March 2011/3

  • Ratings agency Moody's put Flagstone Re under review for a possible downgrade due to the series of natural disasters in the first quarter, provoking a strongly worded response.
  • Hardy Underwriting has pressed on with its share buyback programme after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.
  • The board of HCC Insurance Holdings has authorised the firm to buy back up to $300mn of its common stock.
  • A total of nine (re)insurers updated their loss estimates for first quarter Antipodean cats this week, adding up to $860mn to the tally for February's Christchurch earthquake as well as the Australian flooding and cyclone earlier this year.
  • Lloyd's M&A target Omega is on the verge of entering due diligence with US carrier Delphi Financial Group, it is understood.
  • Bid target Chaucer plc's capital base is facing a double whammy of severe catastrophic losses combined with the drip-drip of Madoff and other professional indemnity losses from the credit crisis-hit 2008 year.
  • The increasingly numerous loss estimates issued by reinsurers suggest that the second New Zealand earthquake is going to be at least twice as expensive as the first.
  • The international (re)insurance community will be looking to Wednesday's (23 March) UK budget for details of reforms the UK chancellor George Osborne is expected to unveil on controlled foreign company (CFC) and foreign branch taxation.
  • Commercial US insurance data and analytics provider Advisen is set to announce it has bought UK-based (re)insurance technology firm Web Connectivity, which it says will allow it to foster greater use of structured data in the sector.
  • The international personal accident (PA) (re)insurance market looks set to escape a significant loss from the 9.0 magnitude Japanese earthquake and tsunami on 11 March because of recent changes to terms and conditions, sister publication Inside FAC can reveal.
  • The offshore energy market is now facing a possible $800mn loss as a result of damage sustained to Maersk Oil's Gryphon floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in the North Sea in early February, according to sister title Inside FAC.
  • Between $50mn and $100mn of Japanese earthquake industry loss warranties (ILW) traded shortly after the 11 March catastrophe struck north-eastern Japan, our sister title Trading Risk revealed.