BSX lists record $750m cat bond
The Bermuda Stock Exchange has surged past $4 billion in insurance-linked securities after giving listing approval to the largest ever single-peril catastrophe bond deal.
Everglades Re Ltd, a Bermuda-based special purpose insurer, is the vehicle for $750 million of catastrophe bonds, which will provide hurricane reinsurance cover for sponsor Florida Citizens Property Insurance.
It is the first time that state-run Citizens has come to the ILS market.
The deal means the total value of insurance-linked securities listed on the BSX now stands at $4.25 billion.
Investors in catastrophe bonds generally receive attractive yields in exchange for bearing the risk of a specified natural disaster. The cat bond may be triggered if insured losses receive a specified level, in which case investors capital can be wiped out. Investor interest in the bonds stems from the relatively high yields and the lack of correlation with financial markets.
The good news for Bermuda is that there could be more business in the pipeline from Citizens. In December 2011, the Citizens board set out a goal of transferring at least $1 billion of its financial exposure to the private market.
The Citizens deal is another example of Bermuda being utilised by a US state-run insurer to transfer some of its risk to the capital markets.
According to the Insurance Journal, Carlos Lacasa, chairman of Citizens said: Our direction to management is to continue to secure a significant amount of additional risk transfer through the traditional reinsurance markets as well and I look forward to a total risk-transfer programme in excess of the $1 billion budgeted for 2012.
The Everglades deal takes total global cat bond issuance for the year past $3 billion. Axa SA, Europes second-biggest insurer, has estimated that total issuance of cat bonds could increase by 30 percent to $6 billion this year.
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