Amsterdam Financial Services Correspondent
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Dec 7, 2012

Chinese group in talks to buy AIG air lease arm

HONG KONG/NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A group of Chinese
companies, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
(ICBC), is in talks to buy nearly all of American International
Group Inc’s aircraft leasing unit for about $5.5
billion, AIG said on Friday.

The deal is expected to be announced as soon as early next
week, a source familiar with the matter said on condition of
anonymity.

Nov 30, 2012

Walgreen, Apollo, among 40 special dividend candidates -analysts

Nov 30 (Reuters) – Dozens of companies have declared special
cash dividends ahead of potential tax increases next year,
leading analysts to speculate on at least 40 more that might
return large quantities of cash before the end of this year.

For shareholders of some of those companies, like drugstore
chain Walgreen Co and for-profit education provider
Apollo Group Inc, such a payout may turn into a welcome
holiday surprise.

Nov 29, 2012

New York governor orders insurers to speed up Sandy claims

By Ben Berkowitz and Hilary Russ

(Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday imposed emergency regulations on insurers to speed the processing of claims from hundreds of thousands of state residents whose properties were damaged or destroyed when Superstorm Sandy struck a month ago.

Among the measures Cuomo unveiled was a requirement reducing the time limit for insurance company claims adjusters to respond to a claim to six days from 15 days.

Nov 29, 2012

NY governor orders insurers to speed up Sandy claims

Nov 29 (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on
Thursday imposed emergency regulations on insurers to speed the
processing of claims from hundreds of thousands of state
residents whose properties were damaged or destroyed when
Superstorm Sandy struck a month ago.

Among the measures Cuomo unveiled was a requirement reducing
the time limit for insurance company claims adjusters to respond
to a claim to six days from 15 days.

Nov 22, 2012

After Sandy damage, insurance adjusters may bring more bad news

Nov 23 (Reuters) – After another day of pumping out their
swampy, moldy houses, neighbors in Breezy Point in New York City
huddled at the quaint generator-powered firehouse Wednesday
night, stamping their feet to stay warm. Neighbors picked at
food from tin cans and sipped soups from Styrofoam cups as they
lamented the growing holes in a safety net they thought they
had: homeowner’s insurance.

“They’re covering five shingles and a piece of gutter, and
that’s it,” says Kathleen Valentine, a fire alarm dispatcher who
spent the night of Superstorm Sandy working while her house
filled with water and dead fish. Her insurance agent from
Narragansett Bay Insurance Company said her policy would pay
only for wind damage. She is still waiting for someone from the
federal flood insurance program to show up.

Nov 12, 2012

“Baby Berkshire” Leucadia matures with Jefferies deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lots of companies try to turn themselves into mini-Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)-style conglomerates, but Leucadia National Corp (LUK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has had more success than most at pulling it off.

The diversified services company, which struck a deal on Monday to acquire investment bank Jefferies Group Inc (JEF.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $3.6 billion [ID:nL1E8MC4I6], models itself in more than cosmetic ways on Warren Buffett’s empire.

Nov 8, 2012

Nor’easter complicates insurance for Sandy-struck businesses

Nov 8 (Reuters) – Businesses in New York and New Jersey that
were preparing insurance claims for losses from Superstorm Sandy
now have a second headache: how to deal with new losses from an
early winter snow storm.

The snow and wind from the nor’easter made continuing power
outages worse, once again snarled road and rail traffic, and may
have contributed to fresh damage at businesses that had not made
repairs yet from Sandy.

Nov 2, 2012

Sandy to test revamped federal flood insurance program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Superstorm Sandy is threatening to drag the U.S. government’s debt-ridden flood insurance program back into the political crosshairs just months after Congress attempted to put the controversial program on a sound financial footing.

It is unclear if claims from Sandy, which delivered a wallop to the Northeastern United States earlier this week, will exceed the $3.7 billion the National Flood Insurance Program can spend before Congress needs to authorize more funds.

Nov 1, 2012

On the Jersey shore, emotion outweighs cost of rebuilding

/BOSTON (Reuters) – The people of the Jersey Shore may feel alone in the world right now, their homes destroyed and their beaches ruined by Hurricane Sandy. But they will soon face a decision familiar to others who have survived massive storms – do I rebuild?

There is a reason New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called the destruction Sandy wrought on the shoreline “unthinkable.” The one-time vacation paradise, familiar to fans of Bruce Springsteen, is now a twisted wreck, with remnants of a roller coaster floating in the ocean, and houses erased like they were temporary markings.

Oct 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy losses may be twice those of Irene

Oct 30 (Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy appears to have easily
caused more losses than last year’s Hurricane Irene, but final
totals will be hard to come by for some time because of the
scale of the disaster, catastrophe forecasting companies said on
Tuesday.

One of the biggest questions now is who will pay for the
extensive damage to municipal infrastructure — subway tunnels,
train tracks, electrical transformers, coastal boardwalks and
piers — that Sandy left behind along the East Coast.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Berkowitz covers the insurance industry in New York City. He rejoined Reuters in Amsterdam in May 2009, covering the Dutch banking system and economy. He originally worked for Reuters in Los Angeles and New York from 2001 to 2006 covering everything from video games to oil. In between he was business editor at AOL, head of the editing desk at AP Business News and managing editor of Fidelity.com."
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