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February 2010/1

  • More than EUR1.3bn of cat bond capacity is potentially exposed to loss following this weekend’s devasting European windstorm Xynthia, according to Trading Risk data.
  • The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has voiced "significant concerns" about how life settlements products are sold to retail investors saying that the investment risk to consumers is "often downplayed", according to Peter Smith, head of investment in the UK regulator's policy department.
  • German car maker BMW has hedged almost £3bn of longevity risks in its UK operations pension scheme in the largest longevity hedge to date for the sector.
  • Strong 2009 performances and financial markets stabilisation have funnelled additional capacity into the convergence sector, with Axa and Q Re deploying new funds at the start of 2010.
  • The Thai subsidiary of Sompo Japan Insurance has launched an index-based weather insurance product to provide cover for rice farmers against drought in Northeast Thailand.
  • US investment bank JP Morgan is willing to contribute its LifeMetrics parametric longevity index to the Life and Longevity Markets Association (LLMA) in order to focus the market's efforts on a single listing.
  • Dedicated insurance-linked derivatives broker Myrias LLC has ceased to trade, closing its screen-based trading platform from 22 January.
  • Andreas Kusay - ex-Manulife executive and mooted head of proposed $100mn+ collateralised retro vehicle Equinox - has joined cat futures trading platform IFEX as a consultant to promote its event-linked futures (ELFs).
  • The price of US wind industry loss warranty (ILW) instruments has fallen by up to 40 percent year-on-year for the 1/1 renewal season, with average rates on line (RoL) reducing around 25 percent over the prior year across all perils.
  • A powerful winter storm produced heavy snow and strong winds across the US Eastern Seaboard on 5 and 6 February, prompting states of emergency in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.
  • Swiss Re has called for more public-private transactions after a devastating earthquake in Haiti last month caused billions of dollars in economic losses.
  • European (re)insurers face an average 70 percent increase in solvency capital requirements (SCR) from changes to implementation measures for the European regulatory standard proposed over the past six months.