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French insurer Axa S.A. and Bermuda-based reinsurer XL Group Ltd. have ceded more natural catastrophe risk to reinsurance or retrocession counterparts ahead of their merger completion, Artemis.bm reports. Axa and XL also ceded risks to capital markets including insurance-linked securities as well as a new aggregate reinsurance cover to protect their combined book against high frequency catastrophes. Axa and XL reduced their potential earnings exposure to natural catastrophes by about 36% for a 1-in-10 year all natural perils return period.