Cat bonds still attractive vs corporate credit despite spread tightening: K2

While catastrophe bond and insurance-linked security (ILS) spreads have tightened during the second-quarter of 2021, hedge fund specialist manager K2 Advisors believes that they remain attractive relative to corporate credit and are a strategy investors should be focusing on.

Given the still uncertain world, as the recovery from the pandemic continues but challenges related to that and central bank policy remain, the hedge fund focused asset manager, which is a unit of investment firm Franklin Templeton, believes investors should be looking to focus their hedge fund investments on alpha generating non-directional strategies.

One of these is insurance-linked securities (ILS), an area that Franklin Templeton and K2 Advisors provide expertise and now also managed fund strategies, having launched its own UCITS catastrophe bond recently.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Catastrophe bond market can expand further in 2022: Willis Re

The catastrophe bond market has a good opportunity to continue expanding and the current elevated activity could run right into 2022, according to reinsurance broker Willis Re.

In reporting on the mid-year reinsurance renewal season, after which the market is said to be approaching equilibrium, Willis Re explained that catastrophe bond issuance has been particularly strong, something the broker anticipates will continue.

As we detailed in our new cat bond market report, which we published yesterday, activity has been particularly brisk, with around $6 billion of 144A property cat bonds issued in the second-quarter of 2021.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Today’s ILS Investor: A Catalyst for Change

The $90 billion insurance-linked securities (ILS) sector is undergoing a sea change, led by investors with significant experience in the industry and a heightened awareness of the need to marry their desire for non-correlated risk and attractive returns with the growing demand for responsible investment.

For most of the last 20 years, traditional ILS investors have been hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors. They look to the insurance and reinsurance sector for portfolio diversification as an alternative, non-correlating asset class that produces historically strong returns.

The more traditional appetite for ILS had been high-severity, low-frequency events with a short duration. Natural catastrophe perils, which until 2017 made consistently positive returns (for the most part), were a compelling investment target.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Kazakhstan: Almaty nonchalant over earthquake fears

As Kazakhstan awaits the Big One, its seismologists are underfunded while ever-taller buildings rise in the earthquake-prone commercial capital.

Nur-Sultan may be cold and windy, but at least earthquakes aren’t a concern.

That was Andrei Krasilnikov’s thought when he moved to the capital from Kazakhstan’s mountain-fringed business metropolis, Almaty.

“It was a shame to have to leave our hometown. We have beautiful mountains there, which we don’t have here,” Krasilnikov, an activist opposed to the rapid spread of high-rise construction, told Eurasianet. “But Almaty is in a seismic zone, and I want to live in peace and not have to worry about my family.”

By way of an example, Krasilnikov points to a recently unveiled project to build several dozen 17-story apartment blocks in a tightly packed residential area of Almaty.

“These kinds of ghettos will become a mass grave if there is a powerful earthquake, since rescue equipment will not even be able to drive up through the rubble,” the activist said.

The fears are not without basis. Almaty is in a seismically active region. Mild tremors are fairly common. And seismologists are predicting that a powerful tremor could occur within the coming decade.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Cat bond activity may give multi-strategy funds room to expand

The acceleration of activity in the global catastrophe bond market over the last few months could now drive an opportunity for a number of multi-strategy investment funds to expand, as the availability of paper has increased even causing some investment managers to lift the shutters on closed funds, we understand.

Which could drive more capital to look at catastrophe bonds and perhaps other insurance-linked securities (ILS), or the more structured collateralised reinsurance opportunities such as sidecars.

Given a lot of the multi-strategy investment funds that look at cat bonds and other ILS are open to retail money as well, these investment managers would really like to see listed opportunities, or assets with greater liquidity, which could even drive interest among specialist ILS managers or reinsurance firms to revisit the listed fund strategy again.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Cat bond growth propelled by strong investor demand: Moody’s

Moody’s has reported that the catastrophe bond market saw record issuance in 2020 despite a brief pause in Q2 following a particularly tumultuous period for the financial markets.

And looking ahead through 2021, the rating agency expects cat bond issuance to continue to grow with strong investor demand for the asset class, evidenced by a reduction in spreads and upsized deals seen over the last several quarters.

According to Moody’s future growth in the ILS market will likely be driven by pure cat bonds from traditional and non traditional sponsors as well as insurance-linked notes from mortgage insurers.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE 

Cat bond growth propelled by strong investor demand: Moody’s

Moody’s has reported that the catastrophe bond market saw record issuance in 2020 despite a brief pause in Q2 following a particularly tumultuous period for the financial markets.

And looking ahead through 2021, the rating agency expects cat bond issuance to continue to grow with strong investor demand for the asset class, evidenced by a reduction in spreads and upsized deals seen over the last several quarters.

According to Moody’s future growth in the ILS market will likely be driven by pure cat bonds from traditional and non traditional sponsors as well as insurance-linked notes from mortgage insurers.

“The cat bond market has again proven resilient despite some losses and principal payouts, largely from prior period reserve development,” analysts said in a new report.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Cat bond activity may give multi-strategy funds room to expand

The acceleration of activity in the global catastrophe bond market over the last few months could now drive an opportunity for a number of multi-strategy investment funds to expand, as the availability of paper has increased even causing some investment managers to lift the shutters on closed funds, we understand.

Which could drive more capital to look at catastrophe bonds and perhaps other insurance-linked securities (ILS), or the more structured collateralised reinsurance opportunities such as sidecars.

Given a lot of the multi-strategy investment funds that look at cat bonds and other ILS are open to retail money as well, these investment managers would really like to see listed opportunities, or assets with greater liquidity, which could even drive interest among specialist ILS managers or reinsurance firms to revisit the listed fund strategy again.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Peak Re: Bridging the protection gap in emerging markets

Large and getting larger: Emerging Asia’s protection gaps

The prevalence of under-insurance and non-insurance in emerging markets is well-documented.[1] The proverbial protection gap persists across different risks, from property to health and mortality, variously also extending to include longevity and liability. There are many reasons underpinning the large protection gap and low insurance penetration in emerging markets, which can be summarised as the “Triple-A Conundrum” – i.e. lack of Accessibility, Affordability and Awareness.[2] These are considered key impediments to deepen insurance penetration in emerging markets including those in the Asia-Pacific region.

Empirical research on protection gaps has been stymied by a lack of data and standard definitions. In fact, different protection gaps are measured differently. For the property including natural catastrophe (nat cat) protection gap, it is measured in most cases as the difference between economic and insured losses over a period.[3] Mortality protection gap is the short-fall in household financial assets to sustain the living of surviving family members, in case of pre-mature death of the household breadwinner. The more challenging health protection gap is sometimes gauged by out-of-pocket expenses, while some estimates also consider the risk of catastrophic medical bills and non-treatment because of affordability and other reasons.

Notwithstanding the capriciousness of definitions and a dearth of data, empirical research is pointing to large protection gaps in emerging markets.[4] The gaps are of particular concern in emerging Asia, due to the region’s large population and fast economic growth. For instance, it is estimated that emerging Asia accounted for around 40% of the global health and mortality protection gaps, and some 20% of the nat cat protection gap.[5] The gaps are also widening. With property and nat cat protection gap, the rise in asset values particularly in disaster-prone coastal regions has outpaced the growth of insurance cover. This could have aggravated by increasing frequency and severity of calamities. Life-style considerations, rising medical inflation and aging population are some of the factors behind a widening health and mortality protection gap in emerging Asia. While the region has witnessed sustained strong life premium growth over the past decades, much of which is believed to be savings-type insurance policies.

FULL ORIGINAL BLOG POST AVAILABLE HERE

Cat bonds: Structurally diversifying & primed for growth, says Neuberger Berman

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE. COPY OF THE FULL WHITE PAPER HERE.

Catastrophe bonds and insurance-linked securities are one of the “very few genuinely, structurally diversifying asset classes,” according to the Neuberger Berman Insurance-Linked Strategies team, who give the asset class a positive outlook for 2021.

Writing in a white paper, the Insurance-Linked Strategies team of global asset manager Neuberger Berman explain that they also believe catastrophe bonds remain attractively valued and as an asset class is set to continue growing.

Catastrophe bonds, among the ILS universe, are particularly attractive to institutional investors, given they enable access to the returns of “a fundamentally uncorrelated asset class (natural catastrophe risk) in a form that is typically more liquid than most reinsurance contracts and vehicles,” the Neuberger Berman ILS team states.