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American International Group Inc. has entered Bulgaria with the purchase of a minority interest in General Insurance Co., headquartered in Sofia, for an undisclosed price. The company, which AIG will manage, has been renamed AIG Bu lgaria General Insurance Co. . . .Moody's Investors Service Inc. has placed its A3 insurance financial strength rating for Pohjola Insurance Co. Ltd. under review for a possible downgrade after the Helsinki, Finland-based company's
recent announcement of a major restructuring to be approved at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting. In the restructuring, the public company, Pohjola, will become a holding company named Pohjola Group Ltd., and the non-life ope rations will be transferred into a new, as yet unnamed insurer sub-sidiary. . . .AXA S.A. shareholders agreed last week to officially change the name of the holding company to AXA-UAP, after the merger with Union des Assurances de Paris. At the same time, UAP announced a net loss of 1.85 billion francs ($333.5 million) at year end 1996 after taking 2.9 billion francs ($522 million) in extraordinary charges relating to potential writedowns in the values of re al estate and other equity assets. . . .The London International Insurance & Reinsurance Market Assn. is allowing brokers around the world, except those in North America, to use the London Processing Centre to process premiums and claims, a service extended only to European brokers last year. North American brokers are excluded for a variety of reasons, including the U.S. regulatory climate, LIRMA stated. . . .C.E. Heath P.L.C. announced that Group Finance M anager Tim Tookey has been promoted to finance director, replacing Paul Hughes, who has become Heath's operations director. . . .Coopers & Lybrand, liquidator of defunct London insurer St. Helen's Insurance Co. Ltd., will pay out a fourth dividend of 10 pence on the pound (16 cents on $1.62) to creditors under a plan started in 1993. A final payment of four pence on the pound (6 cents on $1.62) is expected later this year. . . .New York rating agency Moody's
Investors Service Inc. changed its ratings of Japanese non-life insurers Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. and Mitsui Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. and life insurers Meiji Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Dai-Ichi Mutual Lif e Insurance Co. to negative from stable because of increasing competition as the Japanese insurance market is deregulated. However, Standard & Poor's Corp. affirmed its ratings of four Japanese non-life insurers following its recen t review of the industry, which it regards as "stable over the near term." The companies reviewed by S&P were Dowa Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd., Mitsui Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Lt d. and Nippon Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. . . .International Risk Management Group and its parent, Swiss Reinsurance Co., have joined forces with Luxembourg captive manager GECALUX to form one of the largest independent provid ers of risk advisory, captive management and risk engineering services. . . .Contrary to initial reports, there may not have been liability insurance in place for the Mateo Flores Stadium in Guatemala City, which was the scene of c rowd crush killing 84 people in November (BI, Nov. 11, 1996), said a spokesman for FIFA, the international soccer federation in Zurich. At the time, a Guatemala soccer official said the insurance, required by FIFA, had been placed by another official associated with Aseguradora General S.A., a Guatemala unit of Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. in Trieste, Italy. Generali has never covered the stadium, a company official said. . . .Lloyd's of London released its strategic planning document to the market last week, but has decided not to distribute it publicly. Among the document's aims, however, is to review Lloyd's opportunities in Southeast Asia, particularly China, India and Singapore.