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.

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Pacific Alliance hopes to expand cat bond to cover cyclones, floods, droughts

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The Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, would like to expand on the coverage provided by their catastrophe bonds, with hydro-meteorological risks including tropical cyclones, drought, floods and even cold weather all mooted as potential perils to include.

The Ministries of Finance of the Pacific Alliance members met in late 2020 to discuss next steps in their disaster risk financing and catastrophe bond journey.

The Pacific Alliance trade bloc nations in Latin America currently benefit from a combined $1.36 billion of catastrophe bond backed earthquake insurance protection, in a landmark multi-country cat bond issuance brought to market in early 2018.

Jamaica: World Bank cat bond still underway. Gets CCRIF rainfall payout for Zeta & Eta

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Jamaica continues to work with the World Bank on a first catastrophe bond for the country the Finance Ministry has said and reflecting the importance of disaster risk financing, in recent weeks it has received a roughly $3.5 million payout under its parametric CCRIF insurance coverage.

The payout comes after the torrential rainfall from tropical cyclones Zeta and Eta impacted the Caribbean island nation triggered the parametric excess rainfall protection that Jamaica has.

The CCRIF SPC (formerly known as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) provides excess rainfall parametric insurance coverage, as well as parametric risk transfer for peak perils such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

Mexico’s cat bond coverage continues, despite shuttering of FONDEN

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Mexico’s still in-force $485 million IBRD / FONDEN 2020  catastrophe bond will continue to provide the country with important disaster insurance protection, as the beneficiary of the cover has been shifted away from the shuttered FONDEN disaster fund to the country’s Treasury.

We’re told that a notification has been sent to investors in and holders of the World Bank issued Mexican catastrophe bond, to explain that the coverage it provides will continue uninterrupted, despite Mexico’s Fund for Natural Disasters (El Fondo de Desastres Naturales), more commonly known as FONDEN, having been dismantled.

As we reported last October, FONDEN was set to be dismantled after Mexico’s lawmakers in the senate voted to reform that area of public funding.

World Bank supports Central Asia Multi-Peril Risk Assessment

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Central Asian countries will benefit from a better understanding of their natural disaster risks, which in time could lead to greater use of risk transfer, insurance and reinsurance capacity in the region, as the World Bank supports a multi-peril risk assessment project for the region.

One of the first steps in moving towards sovereign disaster risk transfer, such as use of insurance, reinsurance or catastrophe bond type arrangements, tends to be in the development of risk modelling tools to enhance the understanding of exposures in a country.

To that end, the World Bank, alongside its partners, has launched an initiative to provide a multi-peril risk assessment of natural disaster risks, including earthquakes, floods and selected landslides within the Central Asia region.

Indonesia cat bond possible, as World Bank lends for disaster insurance

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The World Bank has approved $500 million of funding for Indonesia to help the country enhance its financial response to natural disasters, climate risks, and health-related shocks, with the use of risk pooling, and insurance or reinsurance instruments at the heart of the plan.

Between 2014 and 2018, the central government of Indonesia has spent between US$90 million and US$500 million annually on disaster response and recovery, the World Bank explained, while Indonesia’s local governments spent an estimated additional $250 million over the same period.

With the cost of natural disasters and severe weather events expected to keep increasing further due to climate change and also urban growth, the World Bank notes that these costs will pressure Indonesia’s government public spending.

Tre Hapa për të Ndihmuar Shqipërinë për të Përballuar Ndikimet Financiare të Shkaktuara nga Fatkeqësitë dhe Krizat

PUBLIKIMI I PLOT ORIGJINAL KTU

Në vitin 2019, Shqipëria u përball me një seri tërmetesh, ndër të cilët edhe një me magnitudë të lartë; më pas, mes përpjekjeve për rindërtim në vitin 2020, u godit edhe nga pandemia COVID-19. E përballur me nevojat e shumta në rritje, mbështetja e qeverisë shqiptare shkoi për të varfërit dhe personat e prekur nga fatkeqësitë dhe krizat, përfshirë këtu edhe bizneset. Për ta realizuar këtë, ajo shfrytëzoi rezervat fiskale, rishpërndau buxhetet për përparësitë urgjente dhe u mbështet tek ndihma e jashtme. Shumë nga këto masa u ndërmorën në bazë të nevojës.

Në shtator 2020, Banka Botërore së bashku me Ministrinë e Financave dhe Ekonomisë,  kreu vlerësimin diagnostikues në lidhje me financimin e riskut të fatkeqësive në Shqipëri.[1] Kjo përpjekje kishte për qëllim identifikimin e mangësive të financimit të mekanizmave për gatishmërinë financiare të vendit në rast fatkeqësish dhe rekomandimin e mënyrave për përmirësimin e tyre.

Menaxhimi i riskut të fatkeqësive është ndër përparësitë kryesore të politikave në Republikën e Shqipërisë dhe, pak kohë para tërmetit, qeveria shqiptare kreu edhe një seri reformash në këtë drejtim, si për shembull: miratimi i Ligjit të ri për Mbrojtjen Civile, racionalizimi i kornizave institucionale, decentralizimi i funksioneve që aktivizohen pas fatkeqësive dhe vënia në dispozicion e strukturave të nevojshme për fondet e emergjencës në nivel vendor dhe në nivel ministrie të linjës.

Three Steps to Help Albania Withstand the Financial Impacts of Disasters and Crises

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In 2019, Albania experienced a series of earthquakes, including a major one; then, amid reconstruction efforts in 2020, it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Confronting multiple increasing needs, the government of Albania supported the poor and those affected by disasters and crises, including businesses. To do so, it tapped into its fiscal reserves, reallocated budgets toward urgent priorities, and relied on external assistance. Many of these measures were ad hoc.

In September 2020, jointly with Albania’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, the World Bank completed a diagnostic of disaster risk finance in Albania[1]. This effort sought to identify financing gaps in—and recommend ways to improve—the country’s financial preparedness for disasters.

Disaster risk management is among Albania’s key policy priorities, and the Albanian government carried out a series of reforms shortly before the earthquake: for instance, it enacted a new Law on Civil Protection, streamlined institutional frameworks, decentralized post-disaster functions, and put in place structures for contingency funds at the local and line ministry level.

Izmir, Turkey earthquake industry loss estimated at EUR 55m by PERILS

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The earthquake that struck off the coast of Turkey on October 30th and devastated some areas including the Izmir region is estimated to have only cost the insurance and reinsurance industry EUR 55 million, according to an estimate from PERILS AG.

The earthquake cause significant property damage around the Izmir region, downing buildings and damaging hundreds more, while some 114 people have been reported to have died from the quake.

Interestingly, PERILS, the Zurich based provider of insurance and reinsurance market loss information, explains the Izmir earthquake as a magnitude 6.9 event, despite the fact the USGS has reviewed the event as a magnitude 7.0.

Interview to Investing in Private Markets, Europe 2020 Report: “Growth potential and resilience of ILS as an alternative capital”

PDF VERSION AVAILABLE HERE. FULL REPORT CAN BE DOWLOADED FOR FREE HERE.

Investing in private markets remains a prevalent strategy for institutional asset owners, and one that has demonstrated resilience even through the duration of the first quarter of this year as the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe. This is not to say private markets investment has been without issue, in the early months of the pandemic investing capital proved problematic in part because businesses were under financial pressure, and in part that funds were unable to access financing.

This report brings together UK and Wider Europe based Investment Actuaries, Heads of Insurance Asset Management, Investment Managers, Head of Investments and Senior Specialist. We explore regulatory improvements, investigate the due diligence that investing in private markets requires, dissect the information disadvantage, evaluate diversification as a key benefit, discuss the supply and demand imbalance, and address the increased role of climate positive and infrastructure related investments.