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November 2003/2

  • Despite the clement underwriting conditions, Canadian insurance combine Fairfax Financial Holdings returned to loss in the third quarter after failing to realise any meaningful investment gains.
  • Chubb Corp posted a Q3 profit last week, reversing last year’s loss for the same quarter driven by asbestos reserve strengthening.
  • Bermudian insurer Allied World Assurance Holdings revealed its annual gross written premiums have breached the $1bn barrier in its second year of trading.
  • Bermudian giant ACE has announced a solid set of third quarter results, returning earnings per share (EPS) of $1.04, almost double the same period last year and topping analysts’ projections by 2 cents.
  • If a potential mediation fails, then February 2004 has been scheduled for the start of the World Trade Center dispute between the leaseholder, Silverstein Properties Inc, and various insurers led by Swiss Re.
  • Catlin looks set to continue the trend for preferring London to New York for insurance IPOs, according to sources.
  • The downward ratings migration of major reinsurers continued last week with the AM Best reduction of Hannover Re’s financial strength rating to A from A+.
  • The devastation reaped by the Californian brushfires will be spread throughout the US P&C sector, according to analysis by stockbrokers Collins Stewart.
  • MMC Group’s embattled fund company Putnam Investments saw the desertion of more of its clients last week following allegations of irregular trading.
  • Former Morgan Stanley analyst Alice Schroeder has called for underwriters to take more responsibility for their actions and for a return to sound principles of underwriting to mitigate the effects of the cyclical market.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer XL Capital announced stronger than expected operating earnings on the back of underwriting results that beat previous projections.
  • Insurer St Paul Companies Inc reported Q3 earnings per share of 95 cents up on 52 cents for the same period in 2002.