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To protect Guernsey's reputation as a financial center, insurance intermediaries will be subject to supervision under a proposal before the island's parliament. The proposal sets minimum standards of conduct for intermediaries and some insurance companies that are not currently regulated. . . .Eastern Europe continues to be a promising area for insurance market development, with a high potential for growth, according to research by management consultant Datamonitor. However, the report warns that the markets throughout the region are very diverse, do not conform to local patterns or trends and that the area is of "less than reliable stability." . . .Regulators at Lloyd's of London have approved the merger of three syndicates managed by LG Cox & Co. Ltd. The three syndicates, 590, 734 and 1027, will merge into a composite syndicate together with the business written by marine syndicates 2658. The merger will be effective at the beginning of next year. . . .The U.K. Environmental Agency is filing criminal charges against the harbor master of Milford Haven, Mark Andrews, and the Milford Haven Port Authority. The action comes after the publication of a report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch into the Sea Empress oil disaster. The Sea Empress spilled 72,000 gallons of oil in a 1996 accident in Wales that the report concluded was a catalogue of disasters, starting with a misjudgment by a pilot (BI, Feb. 26, 1996). John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister, immediately set up a review of salvage and rescue procedures, as well as training of harbor pilots. . . .The London company insurance market now has a single claims processing system with last week's launch of CLASS. CLASS integrates the London International Insurance & Reinsurance Market Assn.'s and the Institute of London Underwriters' existing claims management systems. By mid-August, all electronically administered claims in the London company market are scheduled to be administered by the system. . . .Rating agency Standard & Poor's Corp. has upgraded its rating for French reinsurer Societe Anonyme Francaise de Reassurance to AA from AA- and removed it from CreditWatch. S&P had placed SAFR on CreditWatch after its purchase by Partner Re Ltd. from Swiss Reinsurance Co. SAFR's upgrade reflected its "strong business and capital position," said S&P, along with its "strategic importance" to Partner Re. In addition, S&P now expects SAFR to write larger lines of business and retain more premium volume. . . .S&P has affirmed the A- rating of Bergen Skibsassuranseforening, also known as Bergen Hull, the Norwegian protection and indemnity club. Bergen Hull has a strong domestic position, insuring more than 20% of the Norwegian fleet, excellent capitalization, a strong operating performance and conservative management, said S&P. On the downside, Bergen Hull's business is very concentrated in one sector, it is heavily reliant on reinsurance, and it depends on key members of its management team. . . .Lloyd's of London has proposed a new form of syndicate structure to allow ongoing syndicates, called permanent capital, to trade alongside the traditional one-year ventures. In the traditional ventures, business ends at the end of each calendar year. The syndicate then reopens, usually with the same syndicate number but often with different investors.