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May 2007/4

  • Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service reacted positively to Dutch bancassurer ING Group’s announcement of a proposed EUR5bn share buyback, affirming all the ratings of the group last week.
  • European giant Zurich Financial Services reported a 71 percent rise in its first quarter income, up to $1.39bn from $810mn in the prior-year period.
  • Shareholders in Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd were due to vote on an increased offer from Fortress Investment Group (FIN) today (21 May) of 96.5p a share as the reinsurer's suitor attempts to fend off a rival bid.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer White Mountains Re Group Ltd (White Mountains) ploughed its own furrow in the insurance field with an announcement of a $250mn offer of fixed/floating perpetual non-cumulative preference shares.
  • Terrorism is still at the top of the agenda for many global business leaders, who cite conflict and instability as issues which stop them from investing overseas.
  • Lloyd's insurer Kiln plc said that underwriting conditions and rates remained attractive for the first four months of 2007.
  • Catastrophe modelling firm Risk Management Solutions (RMS) has withdrawn its short-term, five-year Florida hurricane model after state officials said it did not meet the necessary standards.
  • For the seventh consecutive month airline rates have seen double-digit falls as a report revealed 2006 to be the “safest year on record” for the industry.
  • Reinsurance broker, Aon Re Global (Aon Re) has predicted a slight oversupply of worldwide property reinsurance capacity ahead of the 1 June and 1 July renewal season.
  • Fast growing broker Lockton is launching a Bermudian office as it continues to build its global presence.
  • The industry's thirst for alternative reinsurance capacity continues to grow with the issue of $120mn notes under a $500mn shelf programme providing Swiss Re with retrocession cover for Japanese typhoons.
  • UK insurer Royal & Sun Alliance Group (R&SA) is facing a claim following this morning's (21 May) fire aboard 138 year-old tea clipper, the Cutty Sark, which is undergoing a £25mn renovation in dry dock in Greenwich, London.
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