Royal & Sun Alliance has warned that claims from the floods will reach £120m, meaning the group will miss its targets this year despite better-than-expected first-half profits, reports The Guardian.
Britain's second-largest commercial insurer today estimated the cost of the June floods in Yorkshire at £55m and the July floods in Gloucestershire at £65m.
The flood claims hit underwriting profits, which fell by 16% to £144m in the first half.
As a result, it will not meet its target of a combined operating ratio - a key operating benchmark - of at least 95% for the year. It now expects to deliver a combined ratio of 96%.
THE US FEDERAL RESERVE dug in its heels last night against any early cut in American interest rates, despite the past month’s global market turmoil, reports The Times.
The Fed’s policymaking Open Market Committee, after a two-day meeting, pegged official interest rates at 5.25% for the ninth consecutive month and made clear that its key concern remains persistent inflationary pressures.
In a carefully couched statement designed to signal that it is alert to the threat from financial market upheavals, while striving not to rattle further edgy investors, the US central bank acknowledged that “markets have been more volatile in recent weeks”.
CARLOS ‘SLIM’ HELU, THE Mexican telecoms magnate, has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world's richest man, according to Fortune magazine, which tracks the world's largest companies, reports The Independent.
The billionaire, whose interests range from cigarettes to insurance to hotels to mining, as well as Mexico's dominant fixed-line and mobile phone businesses, has seen his net worth surge to $59bn thanks to the increased value of his publicly traded holding companies.
According to the latest issue of the magazine, that puts him ahead of the Microsoft founder, who has held the crown for more than a decade. Mr Gates is worth an estimated $58bn.
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