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November 2007/1

  • Run-off insurer Highlands Insurance Company (UK) Ltd became the first UK insurance firm to become insolvent in three years after it went into insolvent administration at the High Court on 1 November.
  • US insurer Liberty Mutual Group has boosted its asbestos reserves by $67mn post-tax following the completion of a "comprehensive ground-up study", it revealed in its third quarter results.
  • Despite a general weakness in bancassurance business, Italian insurance giant Assicurazioni Generali has shown "solid" progress in its year on year nine month results.
  • Cullum Capital Ventures (CCV), part of the Towergate group, recruited two teams from troubled property services group Erinaceous last month.
  • Bermudian-headquartered (re)insurer, AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd, reported a 19 percent increase in operating income for the third quarter of 2007, capping eight straight quarters of "record profitability", according to its president and CEO, John Charman.
  • Swiss Re, which reports its third quarter figures tomorrow (6 November) is expected to generate net attributable earnings of SFr1.01bn and pre-tax profits of SFr1.35bn - down from SFr1.55bn and SFr2.07bn respectively in the prior-year period...
  • Reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter is developing five different trading indices with the first European index looking to go live as early as six months time.
  • China Reinsurance Group, the country's largest reinsurer, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) after inviting "strategic" investors to buy stakes, according to a statement from the company last week.
  • Fast-expanding (re)insurer MAPFRE SA announced its boldest move yet when confirming last week its $2.2bn acquisition of the Massachusetts-based non-life personal lines insurer The COMMERCE Insurance Company.
  • The board of Willis Group Holdings has approved a new $1bn stock buyback plan.
  • Although Berkshire Hathaway reported a 64 percent hike in third-quarter net income late Friday (2 November), underwriting profits from its (re)insurance operation nearly halved, falling from $917mn to $486mn.
  • The management of German giant Munich Re is confident that the firm will return record profits for 2007 after posting "excellent results" so far this year.