Strong need for mainland China to tap the capital markets: ILS Asia 2021

Mr. Simon Lam, Executive Director, General Business at the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, expects the region’s new ILS regime to “hit the ground running” as mainland China’s insurance market growth continues apace.

With the issuance of Greater Bay Re Ltd., sponsored by China Re, expected soon as the first catastrophe bond to be issued out of Hong Kong, the insurance-linked securities (ILS) universe has a new domicile to choose from.

Like Singapore, Hong Kong’s regime offers a grant scheme which covers some of the issuance costs of cat bond transactions, something which has helped to attract sponsors to Singapore’s platform and which is seen as important for new domiciles to gain traction.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Jamaica’s World Bank catastrophe bond could upsize to $185m

The first catastrophe bond for Jamaica, which as we were first to report ten days ago launched as a $175 million IBRD CAR 130 transaction with the support of the World Bank, is now said by our sources to have a chance of closing a little larger, at $185 million in size.

The $175 million or greater catastrophe bond seeks a capital markets backed source of named tropical storm and hurricane disaster insurance protection for the government of Jamaica, on a parametric trigger basis.

As we’d also reported recently, important grant agreements had been signed and as a result the first catastrophe bond for Jamaica was expected imminently.

That proved correct, when our sources told us the deal had been launched to investors ten days ago and we reported on the structure being offered and the protection it will afford to Jamaica’s government.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

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

China’s government supportive of Hong Kong’s ILS strategy: ILS Asia 2021

As options to issue insurance-linked securities (ILS) and catastrophe bonds expand in Asia, with the introduction of Hong Kong as a regulated ILS platform, attendees at our virtual ILS Asia 2021 conference this morning heard of the support China’s government is offering to the initiative.

Our virtual ILS Asia 2021 conference, held in association with headline sponsor AM RE Syndicate Inc., began today with a keynote interview with Mr. Simon Lam, Executive Director, General Business at the Hong Kong Insurance Authority.

This interview can now be viewed on-demand here.

Hong Kong already has an established insurance and reinsurance market, while its legislative preparations for ILS were completed at the beginning of 2021.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

Jamaica’s first cat bond launched at $175m by World Bank IBRD

The first catastrophe bond to benefit the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica has now been launched to investors, with the IBRD CAR 130 transaction, that is being issued via the World Bank, set to provide the Government with a $175 million or greater source of named tropical storm and hurricane disaster insurance protection.

We learned recently that important grant agreements had been signed and as a result the first catastrophe bond for Jamaica was imminent and could come to market as early as this week.

That has proved accurate and now the World Bank’s cat bond for Jamaica is in the market and details are with the insurance-linked securities (ILS) investment community, as well as other institutional investors we’d expect.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE

UZBEKISTAN: UNDP helps develop the insurance sector in Uzbekistan

UNDP, together with the Agency for the Insurance Market Development at the Uzbek Ministry of Finance, organized a seminar on June 24, 2021, during which the results of the diagnostics of the development of inclusive insurance and risk financing in Uzbekistan were presented, UzDaily.uz reports.

It was noted that due to the vulnerability of Uzbekistan to natural disasters, which can bring devastating consequences for the economy and the population, as well as the insufficient development of the insurance market and the lack of tools for inclusive insurance and risk financing, the government, enterprises, and households of the country suffer financial losses amounting to millions of USD.

UNDP established a special Risk Insurance and Financing Fund (Mechanism) to provide technical assistance to countries participating in the climate risk insurance program, including Uzbekistan, to develop inclusive insurance, financing sovereign risks, and integrate insurance into development planning and financing processes. At the first stage, the task was set to diagnose the insurance industry in the country, and the results of this study, as well as the recommendations of experts on the development of this sector, were discussed during the seminar.

FULL 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

Jamaica catastrophe bond grant agreements signed, deal imminent

The project to issue a first catastrophe bond to benefit Jamaica has made further progress this month, with an important grant approval now received and the World Bank facilitated cat bond deal launch now imminent.

Of course, any regular Artemis readers will know that this World Bank project to issue a sovereign catastrophe bond for Jamaica has been underway for a number of years.

In fact, we first wrote about formalised work that had begun between the World Bank and the Jamaican government on a possible catastrophe bond issuance almost three years ago.

FULL ORIGINAL PUBLICATION HERE