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Global reinsurance outlook rises to stable: Best


OLDWICK, N.J.-- A.M. Best Co. Inc. has changed its 2007 outlook for the global reinsurance sector to stable from negative following reinsurers' 2006 financial performance, when many reported record earnings, said the Oldwick, N.J.-based rating agency.

Although mixed, renewals in January "set the tone for near-term optimism despite increased competition primarily associated with noncatastrophe business lines," Best said in a statement.

The stable outlook reflects a change from a negative outlook assigned nearly two years ago.

However, said Best, "the eventual outcome always will be based on how well reinsurers manage their catastrophe exposures relative to capital at risk, given that the benign catastrophe season is unlikely to be repeated in 2007."

Best also said a concern remains that market conditions will continue to deteriorate, particularly for noncatastrophe-exposed business lines. Furthermore, many cedents are retaining more risk, which reduces the overall demand for reinsurance, Best said.