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Loss adjusting firm McLarens Toplis has been granted a permit by the People's Bank of China to open a representative office in Shanghai. This is the first license granted to a loss assessment and surveying organization, and the office will be managed by Paul Lam, managing director of McLarens Toplis' Hong Kong operations. McLarens Toplis plans to apply for a license next spring to open a second office in China. . . .The United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Assn. (Bermuda) Ltd., more generally known as the UK P&I Club, has set up a claims-handling service in Hong Kong. Launched last week, Syndicate HK deals with claims relating to ships owned by Hong Kong-based club members and has grown out of the UK P&I Club's relationship with Hong Kong-based Transport Services Asia, an independent claims adjuster. The club hopes to extend Syndicate HK's services to other club members in the area, particularly elsewhere in China, though TSA will continue to adjust claims for the club, acting on behalf of members outside Hong Kong. . . .South African broker Price Forbes has acquired a controlling interest in Malawi Insurance Brokers, extending its network of African .Leigh Hollywood has been appointed chief underwriting officer of Sovereign Risk Insurance Ltd., a Bermuda-based specialist political risk insurer formed in April. Sovereign Risk is a joint venture of ACE Ltd., X.L. Insurance Co. Ltd. and Risk Capital Reinsurance Co. . . .Unlimited liability members of Lloyd's of London could fall to fewer than 8,000 for the 1998 underwriting year. More than 1,850 traditional names lodged their intention to resign from trading on an unlimited liability basis by the Sept. 30 deadline, though a number will convert their membership to limited liability. This year, 9,953 people are underwriting at Lloyd's as traditional names, compared with a peak of more than 32,000 in 1988. Lloyd's expects the number of resignations to increase before 1998 trading starts and, for the first time, limited liability members will provide most of the market's capacity. . . .AIG Europe (UK) Ltd. has set up a new medical professional liability unit, headed by Ross May, previously with broker Alexander Howden Group Ltd. The new unit writes domestic and international medical professional liability insurance, with typical limits of up to 10 million pounds ($16.2 million), though higher limits are available. . . .Capital Re Corp. in New York is buying Lloyd's of London managing agency C.I. de Rougement Holdings & Co. Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Rougement manages marine syndicate 112 and non-marine syndicate 732. Capital Re bought another Lloyd's agency, RGB Underwriting Agencies, in 1996. . . .X.L. Insurance Co. Ltd. is reorganizing into four units: underwriting; customer solutions, which will handle marketing and client relations; organizational development, which will include training and development and communications; and international insurance operations. William M. Thornhill will head the underwriting unit, and Richard R. Morano will head organizational development. The leaders of the other two units have not yet been determined. . . .An Indian communications satellite insured for $60 million malfunctioned early last week. The satellite may be irreparable, leading to a total loss. The coverage for the Insat-2D satellite, launched in June by an Ariane-4 rocket, is placed by J&H Marsh & McLennan in London.