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• On January 22 American International Group, Inc. (AIG) announced purchasing Bermuda-based reinsurer Validus Holdings, Ltd. for $5.56 billion in cash. Validus has four parts, spanning reinsurance, US specialty lines, asset management, and a Lloyd’s of London underwriter. The deal marks AIG’s re-entry into the Lloyd’s insurance market where underwriters get access to a wide variety of international insurance and reinsurance business. AIG’s CEO Brian Duperreault said the deal would boost AIG’s earnings per share and return on equity. On the day of the announcement AIG’s shares fell 0.9 percent while Validus’ share price jumped 44 percent.
• On February 5 Enstar Group agreed to acquire a further 52 percent stake in KaylaRe Holdings Ltd., the parent company of KaylaRe Ltd., a Bermuda-based Class 4 reinsurer. Enstar Group already held the remaining 48 percent equity holding in KaylaRe. The transaction was valued at $400 million. Enstar Group’s share price fell 2.4 percent in response to the news.
• On February 15 Bank of N. T. Butterfield & Son Limited announced Fourth Quarter 2017 results with earnings per share 134 percent higher year-over-year. The strong result was driven by specialized banking and wealth management businesses, which generate consistent fee income, and an expanding net interest margin. Butterfield’s shares jumped 11.6 percent on the announcement.
• On March 5 French insurance giant AXA SA announced that the company plans to buy XL Group Ltd. for $15 billion – a 33 percent premium to XL’s previous day’s closing price. Amid a general wave of consolidation in the insurance industry, buying XL also means AXA can beef up its reinsurance business. XL’s shares jumped 29.1 percent on the day.
• On March 13 Argo Group International Holdings Limited, the Bermuda-based international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, acquired Italian specialty insurer Ariscom Compagnia Di Assicurazioni S.P.A. to expand presence in continental Europe. Argo’s stock jumped 1.7 percent on the day of the announcement.
• On March 21 Cayman-domiciled Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate Tencent Holdings Limited announced Fourth Quarter 2017 earnings. The company’s revenue rose 51 percent while costs surged 72 percent year-on-year. The user base of WeChat, Tencent’s multi-purpose messaging and social media app topped one billion. Further, Tencent’s gaming and messaging unit posted best annual growth since 2011. However, the company also said that planned investment in areas including artificial intelligence and video content may weigh on short term profitability. Tencent fell 2.4 percent on the day of announcement.