Arig cancels rights issue
The Arab Insurance Group has cancelled its US$100mn rights issue due to a change of heart on the part of two of its major shareholders. One of the shareholders is reported to..
Willis hits target
Willis, the London based insurance broking group, has reported third quarter 2002 net profits of US$31mn or 19 cents a share on the back of increased commission income. The result compares with a..
Chubb takes asbestos charge
Chubb Corporation reported a third quarter 2002 net loss of US$242.1mn as it took a $625mn charge to boost its asbestos reserves. The result followed the completion of an internal review of..
Hannover Re Group Africa, one of the leading reinsurers in the South African market, saw its pretax profits rise by 116% to R106mn (US$9mn) in 2001. The company’s result was boosted by significant foreign currency..
Singapore Re’s pre-tax income fell by 25% to S$10mn (US$5.2mn) in 2001. The earnings decline reflected lower underwriting profits and the implementation of a new accounting standard, which resulted in a charge of S$2.5mn for..
Korean Re posted the best result of its 39-year history in 2001. Pretax profit for the company’s fiscal year ending 31 March 2002 stood at Won97.9bn (US$74mn), representing an increase of 160% and reflecting increased..
The terrorist attacks in the USA and several major property damage losses made 2001 Swiss Re UK’s worst ever year in terms of technical results, outgoing chief executive Martin Albers noted in the company’s annual..
The Fijian insurance market grew by 4% to F$123.2mn (US$53.6mn) in 2001, according to the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), the country’s insurance supervisory body. Premium growth was strongest in the nonlife sector. The life..
Scor chairman and chief executive, Jacques Blondeau, resigned days after the company issued yet another profit warning. The French reinsurer is now forecasting that it will show a loss of some €250mn for the full..
Banco Comercial Portugues has decided to pull out of the pan-European insurance group, Eureko. BCP will take back control of its former insurance arm Seguros i Pensoes. In return BCP will relinquish its 20.8% stake..
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has set up a working group to look for ways of insuring mega-risks such as ‘hyper terrorism’. The working group includes representatives of countries such as the..
Size of funding gap presents serious challenge for industry
In a special report published last week, rating agency AM Best once again warned that US commercial insurers’ asbestos and environmental (A&E) loss reserves are approximately $60bn..
The Bali terrorism attack, which included New Zealanders among its victims, has increased demand from NZ’s major firms, for insurance cover against war, terrorism and kidnapping of senior executives travelling abroad.
Many NZ firms do business..
Dirk Lohmann, chief executive of Swiss reinsurer Converium (formerly Zurich Re), spoke to WIR
about the company’s third quarter results. Last week, Converium surprised the market by announcing that it posted $56.9mn to reserves as..
With 11 September entering the comparison, reinsurance companies’ results for the first nine months of 2002 are showing massive improvement. The greatest improvements have been seen at companies which were worst hit by the attack...
China to allow foreign currency policies
Insurers licensed in the Chinese market will now be allowed to issue foreign currency denominated policies for property, life and reinsurance business. However, the option will not be available to..
13.10, electrical failure, listing
Brazil: Petrobras platform P-34, which is located in Barracuda Field in the Campos Basin, listed 48 degrees due to a failure of its electrical systems. Petrobras said a fault in the..
The Ghanaian insurance market in 2001 continued to be characterised by intense competition and uneconomic pricing, according to Ghana Re’s annual report.
At the same time long delays in premium debt settlement resulted in poor cash..
It now seems certain that the terrorism insurance bill will finally be voted through when Congress returns after the mid term elections early next month. This is largely the result of a Republican concession to..
Bolivia’s private pension industry is now over five years old, but a recent report by the Superintendency for Pensions, Securities and Insurance (SPVS in its Spanish acronym) reveals that no less than 1,945 employers of..
The economic crisis and lack of security in Argentina have caused motor insurance claims to spiral. Car thefts have gone up by about 50% since 2001. Theft insurance costs have increased by 25%, epecially in..
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA) latest notification delineating what constitutes rural business for life insurance companies is expected to provide a substantial boost for the latter’s operations in rural areas.
Speaking to the press,..
Switzerland’s Federal Council has trimmed the legally allowed minimum return on complementary pension savings from 4% to 3.25%. The council noted that it was responding to the yields on Swiss Confederation bonds, currently around 2.70%..
Because of a high accident rate, Caribbean taxi drivers are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain affordable motor vehicle insurance.
They face the dilemma of having to comply with an insurance system that is mandatory throughout..
Following the report on the medical third party liability insurance crisis in France (WIR
699/1), local insurers have proposed a pool as a temporary measure to cover hospitals and doctors while a solution is found..
No safe havens
Rating agency Standard & Poor’s said that failures and withdrawals will remain a feature of the Asia-Pacific insurance sector in 2003. Ian Thompson, credit analyst and head of S&P’s Asia-Pacific Ratings Group speaking..
Lloyd’s record ‘abysmal’
A senior figure within the Lloyd’s market has criticised syndicates for concentrating too much on market share in the past and described the market’s financial track record as ‘abysmal’. In an interview with..
Terrorist backstop in doubt
Contrary to earlier expectations, it now seems unlikely that legislation to enable federal financial support for the insurance industry in the event of another terrorist attack on the scale of 11 Septembner..
Insurance Australia Group (formerly known as NRMA) is set to consolidate its leading position in the Australian and New Zealand general insurance markets with its planned acquisition of Aviva’s Australasian nonlife operations.
The acquisition, which is..
Slovenia’s insurance market grew by 19% to SlT230bn (US$937mn) in 2001, its highest growth rate since 1995, according to statistics published by the Slovenian Insurance Association.
Gross premiums for the nonlife market grew by 16% to..
In the late 1940s the Argentine government established a monopoly on reinsurance through an agency that later became the State-owned “Instituto Nacional de Reaseguros (INdeR).” Purchasing policies protecting “any persons, property or any other insurable..
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group, announced that it will take a 15% stake in Allianz General Insurance (Vietnam) Co. Ltd.
Allianz General provides nonlife insurance to..
The Indian insurance industry is on the threshold of a big boom according to Old Mutual chief executive, Jim Sutcliffe. This is primarily because the Indian investor community will graduate from mutual funds to the..
Until recently, risks taken on the Russian real-estate market have gone largely uninsured. Now the situation is changing radically and recent months have seen a growth in the number of local insurance companies offering products..
The abolition of price controls from the beginning of 2003 is likely to make the Hungarian compulsory third party motor liability (ctpml) business even more competitive and provide few opportunities for making an underwriting profit.
Swiss Life’s new managing directors Rolf Dorig who replaces Roland Chlapowski.
Mr Chlapowski lasted barely eight months. The poor performance of the shares of Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life – which was as much the fault of Mr Chlapowski’s..
The Allianz group has reported a loss of €2.5bn (US$2.5bn) for the third quarter, which brought the total net loss for the nine months to September to €924mn. However, analysts were much more concerned about..
Property and business interruption
29.10, office block, fatalities
Vietnam: at least 61 people died after a huge fire at an office block heavily populated by foreign companies in Vietnam’s southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City. The..
Arab Re recorded positive premium growth for the first time since 1995, according to the company’s 2001 annual report. Established in Beirut, Lebanon, in March 1972, Arab Re writes all types of reinsurance as well..
UK liability insurer The Underwriter (TU) reported a pre-tax loss of £12mn (US$18mn) for 2001, its second full year of operation.
This compared with a profit of £2mn for the previous year. The negative result stemmed..
Chilean insurers’ results for the first nine months of 2002, published in early November, show a deterioration in the performance of companies in both the life and nonlife sectors.
The 34 life insurance companies came off..
The New Zealand Earthquake Commission, which provides insurance for earthquake and natural disaster damage, has lost NZ$104 mn (US$50.2mn) investing in world markets between November last year and June this year. The Commission was given..
Although Poland is the largest insurance market in Eastern and Central Europe (excluding the former Soviet Union), it seems to be too small a space for the country’s largest insurer, PZU.
Press reports indicate that the..
On 17 October, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the US Department of the Treasury imposed a suspicious activity reporting requirement upon life insurance companies and others engaged in the issuing, underwriting or reinsuring..
There has been a great deal of speculation about the future of the London market insurer and reinsurer, Württ UK. So much so, that two weeks ago the company’s managing director, Stephen Redmond, issued a..
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