AXA Sells $474 Million in Cat Bonds against Europe Storm Damage

By Alastair Marsh | October 16, 2013

AXA SA said it sold catastrophe bonds designed to protect insurers from payouts on storm damage, in the biggest transaction of the notes in euros.

Europe’s second-largest insurer by market value issued €350 million ($474 million) of notes to institutional investors in two offerings through Calypso Capital II Ltd., it said in a statement. The bonds protect against extreme windstorm risk in 11 European countries from the U.K to Belgium.

“This issuance confirms AXA’s strategy to diversify the group’s cover against natural catastrophes, by both traditional reinsurance and alternative risk transfer such as catastrophe bonds,” Philippe Derieux, deputy chief executive of AXA Global Property and Casualty, said in a statement.

Paris-based AXA’s deal takes sales of catastrophe bonds in the common currency to €630 million [$853 million] this year, up from €230 million [$311.5 million] in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

French insurer Groupama SA previously held the record for the largest euro-denominated catastrophe bonds, selling €280 million [$379 million] of the securities through Green Fields II Capital Ltd. in July, Bloomberg data show.

Editors: Michael Shanahan, Jennifer Joan Lee

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