France’s SCOR Group reported that treaty renewals in the Asian market, concluded on April 1, showed good gains. “Non-Life treaties in Japan and Korea (72% of the 2004 Asia-Pacific zone Property & Casualty treaties) were up for renewal at 1 April 2005,” said a company announcement.
“Following very satisfying renewals in China on 1 January, these 1 April renewals are another mark of the SCOR Group’s expansion in Asia, with a 4.2 percent increase (+5.4 percent excluding foreign exchange impact) in expected premiums, in line with the objectives of the Moving Forward plan,” the bulletin continued.
SCOR noted that the renewals had been “marked by selective underwriting – particularly on natural catastrophe risks, where prices are nonetheless sharply increasing – and higher cedant retention.
“In Japan, expected premiums amount to 46 million euros [$59.53 million], demonstrating relative stability despite a negative foreign exchange impact. Excluding foreign exchange impact, expected premiums are up by 3.1 percent.”
The reinsurer also indicated that “catastrophe premium rates are increasing sharply following a historically high frequency and level of claims in 2004.” The bulletin said, however that the Group has “remained very careful with regard to the quality of risks underwritten, selectively increasing its share of business but declining certain contracts that do not meet its profitability goals”.
SCOR also observed that “overall, the market is continuing its restructuring marked by a trend towards higher retention and the disappearance of certain programmes.
“In Korea, where SCOR obtained a license in 2004, expected premiums have risen by 18.1 percent to 22 million euros [$28.47 million], benefiting in part from a significant positive foreign exchange impact.
“These renewals reinforce the Group’s strong position in the second largest market in the zone. The renewals were marked by a clear expansion in proportional treaties, under conditions that met the Group’s profitability goals.
“In India, SCOR increased its presence on the market, benefiting from the modernization process of the Indian economy. The Group expects a 20% increase in its written premiums, whilst maintaining its rigorous profitability criteria.”
In conclusion the bulletin stressed that “Asia is one of the Group’s geographic development axes set out in the Moving Forward plan. The positive outlook for 2005 following these renewals is fully in line with this objective. The Group is continuing the redeployment of its resources.”
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