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November 2007/4

  • Growth in its life business was the driving force behind a 25 percent rise in profits at Swiss insurance giant, Zurich Financial Services Group (ZFS), it reported on 15 November.
  • Cayman Islands-based Greenlight Capital Re has posted a $2.1mn net loss for the third quarter against a healthy prior-year period $17.5mn profit, due to a significant investment income loss.
  • Aon Natural Resources London chairman Tim Fillingham and ex-Navigators UK and Europe CEO David Hope are looking to launch a new insurance company focusing on energy and commercial property lines.
  • Financial markets' losses from the falling value of sub-prime mortgage assets may reach $300-400bn worldwide, representing a default on 30–40 percent of global sub-prime debt, according to Mike Mayo, analyst at Deutsche Bank.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer XL Capital is set to renew a slimmed down version of its Cyrus Re sidecar with $105mn in capital from three tranches of loans.
  • Swiss Re shares slumped over 10 percent today after the reinsurer announced a SFr1.2bn (£524mn) hit – SFr981mn after tax – on two credit default swaps linked to mortgage backed securities.
  • The passage of a federal backstop to natural catastrophe risk through the US House of Representatives has drawn a mixed response from the industry.
  • The US Senate passed a seven-year extension to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) last Friday (16 November).
  • SCOR has booked net profits of EUR299mn for the year-to-date, up 93 percent on the prior-year period, along with top line growth boosted by the acquisitions of Converium and Revios.
  • Recently-listed European reinsurer PARIS RE said net premiums fell by 14 percent in the third quarter due to falling rates and higher retentions in the current soft market.
  • Bermudian (re)insurers Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd and Lancashire Holdings Ltd both revealed further share buybacks, as companies continue to react to a benign hurricane season and dwindling underwriting opportunities by handing back capital.
  • Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets has hired former Citigroup executive Stephen Winningham as global head of its Financial Institutions relationship banking division.