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September 2006/2

  • Lloyd’s this morning announced half-year pre-tax profits of £1.35bn – marginally down on the £1.38bn booked at the same stage last year – as strong underwriting results in benign conditions were offset by a fall in investment income.
  • Lloyd’s insurers saw half-year profits dented by the impact of foreign exchange adjustments, with the effect on the bottom line partially influenced by the hedging strategy company's employed.
  • Highfields continues SCOR sidecar dispute; Spitzer drops key Greenberg charges; Fairfax restates; ACE acquires minority stake in Russian Re; AM Best removes Hannover Re from review; Greenlight Re receives Best rating; et al
  • Levene makes tax call for London’s competitiveness; Beazley boosts cat capability with Berkshire Hathaway tie-up; Gibson returns to Highway; LMA launches wordings repository; Fitch affirms Lloyd’s A rating; et al
  • If Converium can sell-off its discontinued US arm, Converium North America, then it may spark an upgrade by Standard & Poor’s back to the longed-for A- territory.
  • With the limitations of traditional reinsurance pushing cedants to look for other options they must get comfortable with their understanding of the basis risk associated with the alternatives, according to Rolf Tolle...
  • Bookmakers will rarely accept bets once the race has started which explains why – halfway through the Atlantic hurricane season – there have not been any recent US windstorm catastrophe (cat) bonds.
  • The growing interest in acquiring non-life insurance businesses in run-off was demonstrated by two major sales last month coupled with the emergence of a new corporate investor looking to profit from parent companies keen to offload unwanted subsidiaries.
  • Sidecar vehicles have now raised more than $4bn in capital since they roared into fashion in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last year.
  • Hiscox plc revealed on 1 September that it is close to setting up a Bermudian sidecar operation to reinsure its Lloyd’s Syndicate 33.
  • The hard-pressed retrocessional sector – which was decimated by 2005’s storm losses – is now dependent upon securitised capacity for 30-40 percent of its market, a figure likely to reach 50 percent by the end of next year.
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