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Nov 18, 2014

Prudential profit from new business up 17 pct, shares hit record

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – British life insurer Prudential
posted a double-digit rise in profit from new business
in the first nine months of 2014, helped by sales of pension
services to companies in Britain.

The company said on Tuesday that new business profit rose 17
percent to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.35 billion) from a year
earlier, after stripping out currency fluctuations, with
double-digit gains in Asia, the United States and the United
Kingdom.

Nov 18, 2014

Hedge fund star Hintze tips long U.S. high yield credit, short Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge fund CQS is betting on U.S. high-yield corporate bonds following the return of widening credit spreads and volatility in the second half of the year, the firm’s founder Michael Hintze, one of Europe’s most influential investors, said on Monday.

Hintze, 61, whose firm manages about $14 billion, said he was also shorting European credits and flagged Russia as a “black hole” as it fights an economic crisis, sinking oil prices and a sanctions war with the West over Ukraine.

Nov 10, 2014

British pension reform dents Just Retirement sales

LONDON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – British pension reform hit
annuity provider Just Retirement’s quarterly sales of
individual annuities, the company said on Monday, as it looks to
other products to take up the slack.

Just Retirement, a FTSE 250 company, listed in November last
year, only a few months before the surprise reforms were
announced. The changes that come into effect in April will allow
retirees more freedom on what to do with their pension savings,
with no requirement to buy an income-providing annuity.

Nov 5, 2014

Old Mutual sales hit by weaker rand, assets rise

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Sales at Anglo-South African
financial services group Old Mutual fell in the third
quarter due to weakness in the rand and outflows from
institutional investors, though funds under management rose on
the year, the London-listed firm said in a trading statement on
Wednesday.

Old Mutual has been restructuring its business, selling off
some European assets and listing its U.S. asset management arm.

Nov 4, 2014

Corporate sales help Legal & General offset pension reform hit

LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – British life insurer and pensions
group Legal & General said it generated 12 percent more
cash in the first nine months of 2014 than a year ago, as
corporate annuity sales helped cushion the impact of changes to
rules for individual savers.

Under reforms announced in the UK budget in March, retirees
no longer need to use their pension pots to buy an annuity,
which gives an income for life, and are free to invest them as
they see fit. Annuity provider L&G has been seen as one of those
most affected by the change.

Oct 29, 2014

Insured loss for U.S. supply rocket $40-50 mln-sources

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The unmanned U.S. supply rocket
which exploded shortly after lift-off late on Tuesday was
insured for around $40 million to $50 million of losses,
insurance sources said, though one pinned the loss specifically
at $48 million.

The 14-story Antares rocket, built and launched by Orbital
Sciences Corp, burst into flames moments after blasting
off from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Tuesday
before plunging back to earth in a ball of fire and smoke.

Oct 29, 2014

Hedge funds muscle into reinsurance, attracting doubters

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds are muscling their way into the market to share the cost of cleaning up after natural catastrophes, but sceptics are questioning whether they will stick around ahead of the next “big one” as underwriting returns fall.

Hedge funds have long been big buyers of insurance-linked securities such as catastrophe bonds, which pay high yields until a disaster hits and make up more than 10 percent of the $570 billion global reinsurance market.

Oct 29, 2014

Standard Life outlook muddied by British pension rule changes

LONDON (Reuters) – Insurer Standard Life (SL.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported strong net inflows in the third quarter but said that changes in British pension rules cut sales of key products and made the outlook uncertain.

The government’s Budget changes in March mean that British savers will be given more access to their pension pots, with no obligation to buy an annuity, with further changes this month making it easier for over-55s to withdraw money from their pension schemes.

Oct 23, 2014

Insurer Epic offers Ebola cover for U.S. health and emergency workers

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – U.S. insurer Epic said on
Thursday it had launched Ebola indemnity cover for U.S.
healthcare and emergency workers.

At least 4,877 people have died in the world’s worst
recorded outbreak of Ebola, mainly in West Africa. Three cases
have been diagnosed inside the United States and the spread of
the disease has prompted some insurers to exclude Ebola from
their policies.

Oct 22, 2014

As virus spreads, insurers exclude Ebola from new policies

By Carolyn Cohn, Richa Naidu and Avik Das

(Reuters) – As fear of Ebola infections spreads to developed economies, U.S. and British insurance companies have begun writing Ebola exclusions into standard policies to cover hospitals, event organizers and other businesses vulnerable to local disruptions.

As a result, new policies and renewals will become costlier for companies opting to insure business travel to West Africa or to cover the risk of losses from quarantine shutdowns at home, industry officials told Reuters.

    • About Carolyn

      "I have worked at Reuters for more than 20 years but I switched in Sept 2014 to a new beat - insurance and fund management. I write about things like insurance deals, fund trends, geopolitical risks insured by Lloyd's and I'm grappling with understanding company accounts. In my vanishingly small spare time, I hope to contribute more to Reuters entertainment file."
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