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Axis boosts cat bond and sidecar issuances

Axis Capital has been busy tapping the capital markets to ramp up its underwriting capacity.

The Bermudian-based insurer and reinsurer has expanded a catastrophe bond offering and added more capacity to its sidecar vehicle, alternative risk transfer website Artemis.bm reported.

The company’s special purpose insurer Northshore Re II Ltd aimed to issue a single tranche of Series 2019-1 notes sized at $100 million last month, Artemis reported.

But strong investor appetite allowed the issuance to be increased to $165 million, while the pricing was lowered.

Axis will benefit from $165 million of retrocession and reinsurance over a four-year term for its subsidiaries, including its Lloyd’s syndicate, insurance and reinsurance companies, against certain losses from US named storms, North American earthquakes and European windstorm events.

The notes were first offered to ILS investors with coupon guidance in a range from 7.75 per cent to 8.25 per cent, Artemis reported, but at pricing the coupon dropped to settle at 7.5 per cent, below the initial guidance range.

Artemis revealed yesterday that Axis had also added another tranche of notes to its collateralised reinsurance sidecar vehicle Alturas Re Ltd, sponsoring a $39 million issuance, the third from the sidecar for 2019. These notes have a due date of September 2023.

This takes the amount of capital backing the sidecar to $169 million for this year.