P/C industry leaders expect good 2004

The leaders of the property/casualty (P/C) insurance industry are looking forward to an improvement in the market in 2004, according to a survey carried out by the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Brit heads down under

Brit Insurance Holdings has joined up with Australian Reinsurance Underwriting Services (ARUS) to strengthen its ties with the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Willis looks to Copenhagen

Willis has announced that it has agreed to acquire Copenhagen-based reinsurance broking company Kirecon. The exact terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

Atlantic to see stormy 2004

Hurricane activity in the Atlantic will be above average in 2004, according to the latest forecast from the Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) service at the Benfield Hazard Research Centre.

S&P takes ERC Life off CreditWatch

Standard & Poor's (S&P) has lowered the financial strength rating of ERC Life Reinsurance from A+ (strong) to A- (strong) and removed it from CreditWatch, where it had been since 3 September 2003.

XL Capital boost XLCA

Bermuda-based reinsurer XL Capital has announced that it has contributed $100m of additional capital to support the business growth of its financial guaranty insurance unit XL Capital Assurance (XLCA).

Scor share offer successful

Troubled French reinsurer Scor has said that the capital increase it announced in December 2003 has been successful.

Benfield increases ISB stake

Reinsurance broker Benfield has announced that its US subsidiary Crawley Warren has bought an additional 43% of the share capital of International Space Brokers (ISB). Benfield now owns 86% of ISB's issued share capital.

ARF elects new president

The Association of French Reinsurers (Association des Réassureurs Français, or ARF) has elected Thierry Masquelier as its new President. Christian Herzog was also elected as vice-president.

Earthquakes hit US and Iran

The earthquakes, within days, in US and Iran, have highlighted the vulnerability of remote regions with unsophisticated building standards.

Met Life recaptures Annuity Life Re business

The panel in the arbitration proceeding between Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), and Met Life has ruled that Annuity and Life Re's rate increase instituted in January 2003 and effective March 5, 2003 is valid. As a result of the ruling, Met Life has…

BFIS continues to grow

Bermuda-based Ram Re has joined the Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies (BFIS) as a pledged member, and will donate $50 000 to it over the next five years.

Moody's downgrades Scor

Rating agency Moody's Investors Services has downgraded troubled French reinsurer Scor's insurance financial strength rating from Baa2 (adequate) to Baa3 (adequate), with a developing outlook.

Scott joins CEA council

Philip Scott has been appointed one of the three vice presidents of the Comité Européen des Assurances' presidential council.

AM Best downgrades Commercial Risk Partners

Rating agency AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating of Commercial Risk Reinsurance and its US subsidiary Commercial Risk Re-Insurance, together known as Commercial Risk Partners, from B+ (very good) to B (fair), with a negative outlook.

Scor's ratings get boost

Rating agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P) and AM Best have both upgraded the financial strength ratings of troubled French reinsurer Scor.

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