Posts tagged 'lloyds of london'

Barbican launches fresh bid for Omega

The backers of Barbican Insurance have launched a fresh indicative takeover bid for rival Omega Insurance, calling on it to begin talks to create a “merger of equals” between the two Lloyd’s underwriters. The FT says in a letter dated Thursday to Omega’s directors, obtained by the newspaper, Carlson Capital – the Texan hedge fund behind Barbican – sought to ratchet up the pressure on the target’s board. Omega declined to comment. People familiar with the approach from Carlson, which is also a top 10 shareholder in Omega with a 5.5 per cent stake, said that at present it would value the London-listed company’s equity at about £180m. Its share value at market close on Thursday gives a market capitalisation of £118m. The approach comes after a long-running battle for control of Omega involving various suitors ended without a deal.

Lloyd’s claims US hinders disaster recovery

Lloyd’s of London, the largest reinsurer of US risk, has complained that the US government is too interventionist in the insurance market and could damage recovery efforts in the aftermath of national catastrophes, the FT says. A report to be released on Tuesday by Lloyd’s, the insurance market, argues that “[g]overnment intervention in insurance markets should be kept to a minimum”, although it claims that the trend is moving in the other direction. “We don’t believe that the US has the balance between industry and government intervention right, you have government intervention in federal and state level, it demonstrates this is not a sustainable way to proceed,” said Sean McGovern, director of North America and general counsel at Lloyd’s.

Snap news

Breaking pre-market news on Wednesday,

- Lloyds of London announces half year loss before tax of £697m — statementRead more

How to tinker with bank risk-weightings

Risk-weightings for bank assets are still relatively new things.

Codified in the Basel II rules first published in 2004, they were meant to shift financials away from set levels of required capital, tailoring them to the perceived amount of risky assets held by banks. Read more

Snap news

Breaking pre-market news on Friday,

- London Stock Exchange says annual profits up 22 per cent; files TMX merger application – statement and statementRead more

Snap news

Breaking pre-market news on Wednesday,

- Dixons Retail warns on profits; same store sales down & per cent in past 11 weeks — statementRead more

Hands back once again

None other than Guy Fawked himself.

Breaking on Sky NewsRead more

Lloyd’s to urge reserves reduction

Lloyd’s of London is pushing for a reduction in the amount of capital insurers will be required to hold against exposure to catastrophes under new European rules, which threaten to force the historic insurance market to hold billions more in capital, reports the FT. The move comes after insurers in late 2010 conducted a fifth and final test run of the incoming European capital regime – known as Solvency II, set for introduction at the end of 2012 – in order to estimate its impact on their capital bases. Insurers have mostly pledged to keep their results secret until European regulators report the results in a couple of months. But people familiar with the London market said the tests led to capital requirements of up to twice what Lloyd’s expected to have to hold.

Lloyd’s rival approaches Omega

Omega Insurance, a Lloyd’s of London insurer, said on Monday it had received a potential takeover approach from Canopus, a larger private equity-backed rival, reports the FT. Bermuda-based Omega said there was no certainty an offer would be made, nor what the terms might be. The initial approach – the value of which was not disclosed – had proposed an offer of cash and unquoted shares. Omega’s stock has been sliding for the past two years after a £130m ($202m) rights issue and a shareholder revolt led by Neil Woodford, a fund manager at Invesco Perpetual, that last year led to the ousting of the chairman, chief executive and most of the board.

Lloyd’s profits halve as disasters mount

The worst first half-year for catastrophes since 1994 saw profits at Lloyd’s of London tumble by more than half to £628m, the lowest since the historic insurance market began interim reporting five years ago, reports the FT. A rare combination of disasters, including the Chilean earthquake, a winter storm in Europe and BP’s oil spill disaster led to global insurance losses of about $22bn, according to Munich Re. Lloyd’s continues to estimate that the claims exposure of its members to the Chilean earthquake is $1.4bn, while the bill for the BP oil spill is estimated at anywhere between $300m and $600m.

Snap news

Breaking pre-market news on Tuesday,

- Xstrata says condition for all-cash offer for Sphere Minerals satisfied – statement.
 Read more

Lord Levene eyes UK bank assets

Lord Levene, chairman of insurance market Lloyd’s of London and now chairman of start-up cash shell NBNK investments said his group is eyeing the sell-off of UK banking assets in the wake of the financial crisis, the Telegraph reports. Among NBNK’s targets are some of the 600 branches of Lloyds Banking Group that must be sold to meet EU bailout conditions, and the “good bank” of UK state-owned Northern Rock. NBNK, having listed on London’s secondary AIM market last month with £50m of seed funding from investors including Aviva, F&C Management, Invesco and Och-Ziff, wants to be first at the auctions, added Lord Levene.

Snap news

Breaking pre-market news on Wednesday,

- Peter Hambro confirms plans to start trading on main LSE market on Wednesday – statementRead more

Lloyd’s sanguine on financial claims

Lloyd’s of London played down its exposure to claims arising from the financial crisis as hurricane losses and lower investment income halved profits at the world’s oldest insurance market. Lloyd’s reported a fall in pre-tax profit from £3.85bn to £1.9bn in 2008 after what it said was the third worst year of claims in the past 15 years. Investment income also fell from £2bn to £957m.

Lloyd’s insurers to tap Names for capital

Lloyd’s of London insurers are going back to the Names – private investors who traditionally supported the world’s oldest insurance market – in a search for much-needed underwriting capital. In the first three weeks of December alone, Amlin, a Lloyd’s insurer, raised almost £50m from private investors to fund its new syndicate 6106 – a move that has prompted other Lloyd’s insurers to consider similar moves. Amlin’s fundraising comes as Lloyd’s warns insurers that write business there that they may be forced to raise capital due to the pound’s slump against the dollar.

Snap news

The latest on Tuesday,

- Schroders funds under management fall by £15bn to £114.7bn – statement Read more

Snap news

The latest on Tuesday,

- Lloyds of London sees insurance industry taking $20-25bn loss on Hurricanes Gustav and Ike – statement Read more

Greenberg emerges as main backer of new Lloyd’s vehicle

Jeff Greenberg, the ousted chief executive of insurance giant Marsh & McLennan, has emerged as the main backer of a new Lloyd’s of London vehicle that is set to start writing business on Monday, reports The Times. Mr Greenberg, part of the American insurance dynasty hit by a broker kickback scandal, has joined forces with Swiss Re, Lehman Brothers and Whittington, the specialist insurance investment firm, to fund the start-up of Ark. Ark marks the first foray into the London market for Aquiline, Mr Greenberg’s private company, which last month completed a $1.1bn (£566bn) fund-raising. The company is understood to be seeking further insurance and financial services acquisitions this year. Mr Greenberg, who was deposed as Marsh & McLennan’s chief executive in the wake of a bid-rigging investigation by the then-New York State attorney-general Eliot Spitzer, will be chairman of Ark’s Bermuda-based holding company.