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LONDONLloyd's of London posted a profit of £1.35 billion (€2 billion, $2.55 billion) in the first half of 2006, down slightly on the £1.38 billion recorded in the first six months of 2005.
The market's combined ratio for the first half of 2006 was 86.0%, compared with 87.3% for the same period last year.
Lloyd's said that while underwriting profit increased by 20% during the first half of 2005 to £852 million, the market's investment income fell to £571 million for the first six months of 2006, compared with £657 million in the first half of 2005.Gross written premiums were £9.97 billion for the first half of 2006, up from £8.40 billion for the comparable period last year.Lloyd's said that during the first half of 2006, about £2 billion of new capital was injected into the market and that five new syndicates have joined the market so far this year.
In addition, Lloyd's has set up a Cayman Islands-based special purpose vehicle, Thunderbird Re, to enable members of the market to issue catastrophe bonds.
A spokesman for Lloyd's said that the framework was now in place, that the market had set up a working group to discuss members' catastrophe bond requirements, and that should any market participants wish to issue a bond, it is likely it will take between six to eight weeks.