CEA issues second $150m BSX-listed cat bond – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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CEA issues second $150m BSX-listed cat bond

The California Earthquake Authority's Bermuda-listed catastrophe bond has raised another $150 million.

The Listing Committee of the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) has approved the listing of the second issuance from Embarcadero Re.

The capital will provide reinsurance coverage for California earthquakes. This follows Embarcadero's first $150 million issuance in August last year.

The issuance brings the number of insurance-linked securities (ILS) listed on the BSX to 26, with a value of $3.5 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.

A report by website Trading Markets stated that the Embarcadero three-year bonds will pay a coupon of 7.25 percent above benchmark Treasury rates. The website added that the 2012 bond covers losses above $2.91 billion with the attachment point lowering over the second and third risk periods if losses in the first year are above $350 million but not high enough to trigger a payment.

The Cayman Islands has traditionally been the leader in insurance-linked security listings, but Bermuda's 2009 introduction of a new classification of “special purpose insurer” provided the regulatory framework that has allowed helped Bermuda to become a significant player.

The CEA's chief financial officer Tim Richison said the organisation plans to revisit the capital markets for reinsurance support “as often as investor interest will support”.

“Using the same basic structure in these repeatable transactions makes it easier for investors to understand the deal and be comfortable with its terms, which also helps to expand the investor base and solidify market capacity for follow-on deals,” he said.

BSX CEO Greg Wojciechowski welcomed the Embarcadero's second bond. He said the BSX was keen to show issuers and investors how the Exchange's fully deployed electronic trading platform could add value and could provide secondary price discovery support.

After a strong 2011 for ILS activity, Mr Wojciechowski was hopeful of seeing the inflow of business continue this year.

“The first month of 2012 has been very strong and there is more in the pipeline,” he said.

Last week Axa SA, Europe's second-biggest insurer, said total issuance of cat bonds could increase by 30 percent to $6 billion this year.

BSX CEO Greg Wojciechowski

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Published February 08, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 08, 2012 at 8:49 am)

CEA issues second $150m BSX-listed cat bond

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