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Converium posts third quarter profit


ZUG, Switzerland— Converium Holding Ltd. posted profit of $178.4 million for the first nine months of 2006, up from $34.5 million for the comparable period in 2005.

The Zug, Switzerland-based reinsurer said that net income for the third quarter of 2006 was $54.3 million, compared with a $6.9 million loss in the comparable period last year.

Inga Beale, chief executive officer of Converium, said the results primarily reflect strong underwriting performance.The reinsurer posted gross written premiums of $1.57 billion for the first nine months of 2006, down from $1.62 billion for the first three-quarters of 2005.

Last month, Converium announced it had agreed the sale of its North American reinsurance operations, which are in runoff, to a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a move which several rating agencies indicated could lead to a rating upgrade in the near future.

"We now focus on the year-end renewal negotiations and believe that we can benefit from the recent positive rating actions. We remain confident that Converium will be awarded a better financial strength rating in the near future," Ms. Beale said in a statement.