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Losses Forecast to Top 2bn

Financial Times
Date: 09-Mar-2000 12:00:00 am ; 150 words

By Andrea Felsted

Losses forecast to top 2bn

Lloyd's, the insurance market, is set to produce losses of over 2bn for the 1997-2000 years, according to the latest set of forecasts from Moody's Investors Service, the credit ratings agency. Moody's said it was projecting losses of 149m in 1997, 771m in 1998, 775m in 1999 and 496m in 2000. The figures take into account releases of reserves from earlier years. Before releases of reserves, Moody's said losses for the 1997, 1998 and 1999 years would be higher. It also noted that the 1999 and 2000 years were at an early stage of development, and forecasts assumed a "normal" level of losses.

Moody's said the projections reflected worsening loss ratios - the result of pressure on premiums combined with higher losses - and the fact that about 75 per cent of Lloyd's syndicates trading in 1998 and 1999 would make a loss. Mark Hewlett, managing director of Moody's European Insurance Division said a "significant hardening in rates" would need to occur for the 2001 underwriting year to return a profit.

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