Atlas Magazine April 2006

Day of reckoning

Reading across the 2005 results, analysts are more puzzled than ever.

The forecasts pointed to a disastrous year marked by catastrophes of unprecedented scale, yet when the time for appraisal came, what does the analyst notice?

Endowed with an outstanding endurance, reinsurers are stronger than ever. It is true that some, such as Swiss Re, have reported lower results in comparison with 2004, yet, others like Munich Re are reaping record-high profits, while some like SCOR have bounced back and improved their rating.

In fact, previous crises have hardened large reinsurers who have considerably improved their risk management and managed to diversify their portfolio.

In full defiance to alarmist forecasts, reinsurance keeps making profits and attracting capitals as 17 billion USD have been invested in the course of just the last quarter of 2005.

Insurers have equally reported excellent performances in 2005. Publications of profit-making results from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East are pouring in. This sudden upturn has encouraged some giant groups to adopt expansionist strategies towards new markets like China and India, or health and pension schemes which carry promising prospects of rapid development.

As a conclusion, 2005 may be regarded as a nice raw.

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