February 2010

The Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co plans to enter the general reinsurance market. To do so, it has taken a share in a Lloyd’s syndicate, Argenta which operates on London and Singapore. For full details see http://www.mitsui.co.jp/en/release/2009/1190075_3579.html

Latest developments relating to the proposed revival of the New York Insurance Exchange look interesting. Even the State Governor is supporting this as reported by a local newspaper http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/business/07insure.html

RSA has acquired the ninth largest insurer in Sweden. See their announcement http://www.rsagroup.com/rsa/pages/ir/pressreleases1?type=press&ref=551&view=true

There have been reductions in the Fire Services Levy for risks located in metropolitan Victoria: 50% has dropped to 47%. For more see ISN’s country report at http://www.isn-inc.com/countryinfo/australia.aspx

In Bahrain, Zurich has received a licence to conduct non-Life operations through a branch. They have had a Life subsidiary there since 1986. The website of the Bahrain Insurance Association http://www.bia-bh.com/index/index.htm is worth looking at

In the EU, Zurich is to transfer most of its general Italian, Portuguese and Spanish insurance portfolio to branches of its Dublin based operation. The press release can be found at http://www.zurich.com/main/media/newsreleases/2010/english/2010_0112_01_article.htm

The Germans do it the other way round: in China, Allianz has received approval to convert its branch operation in Guangzhou into a subsidiary. For more see http://www.china.org.cn/business/2010-01/19/content_19268249.htm

As many of our friends in the Emerald Isle will confirm, Ireland is the place to be and XL has bought into that as well. They are to re-domicile from the Cayman Islands to Dublin. Read the whole story at http://www.zibb.com/article/5781051/XL+to+Move+Domicile+From+Cayman+Islands+to+Dublin

Meanwhile FM Global has opened an office in Switzerland, choosing Lugano as its base. The news release can be found at http://www.fmglobal.com/press_release/2010/Swiss_office_011210.html and the attraction of Lugano at http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/destinations/resorts/holiday-destinations-in-switzerland/lugano.html

The European Commission has approved Denmark’s plan to provide a state guarantee of non-life insurance coverage for losses from nuclear, biological, chemical or radioactive terrorist attacks which exceed certain thresholds. Business Insurance has a good article http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100113/NEWS/100119970

China’s new Tort law expands product and environmental liability exposure. Allen & Overy have an excellent review at http://www.allenovery.com/AOWEB/AreasOfExpertise/Editorial.aspx?contentTypeID=1&itemID=54378&prefLangID=410

The Philippine Department of Finance has launched the National Strategy and Regulatory Framework for Microinsurance. See our Spotlight article for more on this subject

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility set up by the Wold Bank in 2007 is to respond to the Haiti earthquake. Business Insurance reports this in http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100117/ISSUE01/301179965

With effect from the 16th January ceding insurers in Brazil no longer have to offer 60% of premiums to “local” reinsurers but a reduced amount of 40%. This right of refusal is the first step since the liberalisation of the Brazilian insurance market in assisting foreign carriers to underwrite Brazilian risks; they may now write 60% instead of 40% of risks offered. For more detail see http://www.lloyds.com/Lloyds_Worldwide/Regulatory_communications/All_regulatory_communications/Regulatory_news_articles/Brazil_Right_of_first_refusal_change_effective_16_January_2010.htm