GLOBAL BRIEFSPosted On: Jan. 5, 1997 12:00 AM CST
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group P.L.C., the United Kingdom's largest general insurer, is increasing its stake in Venezuelan insurance group Royal Caribe to nearly 100% from 20% by buying the Ven-ezuelan government's majority h olding in the company. . . .Marine liability reinsurers have cut the premium for the International Group of P&I Clubs' 1997 coverage by more than 40%, following reductions of 5% and 15% in the last two renewals. The International G roup attributes the latest reduction to a softening marine liability reinsurance market and a good loss record. . . .General Accident P.L.C. is expanding in Indonesia with a joint venture, PT Asuransi General Accident Ometraco. The Jakarta-based insurance company will be 60% owned by GA and 40% by PT Ometraco Arthaguna, a subsidiary of PT Ometraco Corp., an Indonesian conglomerate with interests ranging from financial services to consumer products. The joint venture company will have paid-up capital of (British pounds) 4 million ($6.8 million). . . .Baltimore-based USF&G Corp., parent of United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., has increased its presence in the London insurance market with the acquisit ion of 80% of Lloyd's of London underwriting agency Ashley Palmer Ltd. The transaction puts USF&G in charge of the capital of three specialty syndicates at Lloyd's and allows it to have about $300 million of Lloyd's underwriting ca pacity under management for 1997. . . . Corporate capital will dominate investment in Lloyd's within two years, at the expense of individual investors, according to 25 "key players" in the Lloyd's market-mainly managing agents-who responded to a survey commissioned by specialist-fixed interest manager Wittingdale Ltd. More than 80% of respondents believe Lloyd's individual names will eventually cease to exist, and an equal proportion believe the market wi ll consolidate and form fewer, larger syndicates and managing agencies. More than 50% of respondents believe that only a small number of managing agencies will remain independent. . . .Following the U.K. Court of Appeal's decision in October that use of the actuarial Ogden Tables are not mandatory in calculating damages in personal injury awards (BI, Nov. 4, 1996), the union-backed plaintiff in Page vs. Sheerness Steel P.L.C. has petitioned the House of Lord s for permission to appeal. Attorneys acknowledge that use of the Ogden Tables can substantially raise awards. . . . Lloyd's of London underwriters last week received the green light to start writing land-based war risks. An amendm ent to the War and Civil War Risk Exclusion Agreement means that from the beginning of this underwriting year, Lloyd's syndicates can write up to 2.5% of their capacity to cover foreign assets lost because of war or civil war. The policy is limited to assets held overseas to the insured's country of domain and includes a nuclear exclusion.