WORLD INSURANCE NEWS

July 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Economics, Eurozone, Financial, Globalization, Research | Leave a comment

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Swiss Re General news information:

New Swiss Re sigma study

“World insurance in 2009”

reveals slight premium dip but improved capital

SwissRe_Web@swissre.com

Tue 6/29/10

Contact:

Simone Lauper
Head of Media Relations
media_relations@swissre.com
Telephone +41 43 285 7171

For more information about Swiss Re please visit our website www.swissre.com.

According to Swiss Re’s latest “World insurance in 2009” sigma study, world insurance premium volume fell 1.1% on an inflation-adjusted basis. Life premiums fell 2% while non-life stagnated. Premium growth in the emerging markets slowed but remained positive. The industry’s profitability and capital recovered significantly, but have not yet reached pre-crisis levels.

In most countries, insurance premiums grew faster than GDP in 2009, which shows the robustness of the industry. As credit and stock markets recovered, the industry’s profitability and capital improved. For 2010, overall premium growth is expected to turn positive. Profitability and capital will in all likelihood continue to improve.

Global life premiums fall 2% but results vary by region
Global life insurance premiums fell 2% to USD 2 332 billion in 2009. Premiums were hardest hit in the US and the UK as the financial crisis severely impacted the sale of unit-linked products, particularly in the first half of the year. Daniel Staib, one of the authors of the new sigma study, said: “Despite the slight overall decline in global life premiums, the life business in Italy, Germany and France improved as sales of traditional life policies with guarantees rebounded. These products were perceived as particularly attractive when compared with bank products, given the low interest rates and uncertainty of the financial markets.”

In the emerging markets, life premiums rose 3.4%. Growth was the strongest in South & East Asia at 10%, led by China and India. Life premium growth in Latin America and the Caribbean was also solid at 7.8%. The Brazilian life market performed exceptionally well due to the rise in popularity of VGBL (Vida Gerador de Beneficios Livre), a unit-linked savings product.
Non-life premium development was flat in 2009
Non-life insurance business was only marginally impacted by the global recession. Premiums in non-life dipped just 0.1% in 2009 to USD 1 735 billion, mainly due to sluggish demand for cover and softening rates. Staib said: “While lower prices in non-life hurt profitability in 2009, there was an improvement compared to 2008, due to the recovery of credit and equity markets.”

Non-life premiums fell in the US, the UK and Japan, but rose in the emerging market countries. For example, non-life premiums in China grew by 19%. Staib said, “Stable premiums and the recovery of profitability and capital are good results given the difficult economic environment in 2009. What concerns us, however, is that underlying technical results tended to weaken.” The study shows that in eight major markets, which represent 70% of global premium volume, underwriting results turned negative in 2009, despite lower natural catastrophe losses and lower losses related to the US financial guarantee business.

Outlook: recovery will continue in 2010
As the world economy continues to improve, premiums are expected to rise. “Overall premium growth in the industry will turn positive in 2010 and the industry’s profitability and capital should continue to improve,” said Staib. The life business in particular will benefit. Staib adds, “If financial markets continue to recover, the hard hit unit-linked business will also show a strong upward trend . Over the longer term, life insurance will benefit from the ageing of the population, which will boost the sales of pension, disability, critical illness and long-term care products.”

Growth of the non-life business in the industrialised countries is also expected to resume. Daniel Staib said, “Given the strong competitive pressures in the insurance industry, it will be difficult to improve profitability significantly. We have also already seen some costly natural catastrophes this year, which will impact technical results. Besides the rise in premium rates, what is needed to bring the primary non-life insurance industry back to adequate profitability levels is the expected rise in interest rates in the medium term.”

The study is based on results and estimates of 159 insurance markets.

Notes to editors and cautionary note on forward-looking statements

Swiss Re General news information:

New Swiss Re sigma study “World insurance in 2009”

reveals slight premium dip but improved capital

SwissRe_Web@swissre.com

Contact:

Simone Lauper
Head of Media Relations
media_relations@swissre.com
Telephone +41 43 285 7171

“World insurance in 2009”

Tue 6/29/10


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LONDON TO CALCUTTA TELEGRAPHY 1870: SIEMENS AND TECHNO-GLOBALIZATION

July 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, India, Science & Technology, United Kingdom | Leave a comment

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Siemens & Halske:

Indo-European telegraph line London to Calcutta 1870

After a construction time of only two years, Siemens & Halske began operating the Indo-European telegraph line (Indo-line) in 1870. The route was over 11,000 km long and extended from London to Calcutta.

A dispatch to Teheran required only one minute, while it took a sensational 28 minutes to reach Calcutta.

Siemens & Halske History

Siemens was founded by Werner von Siemens on 12 October 1847. Based on the telegraph, his invention used a needle to point to the sequence of letters, instead of using Morse code. The company, then called Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske, opened its first workshop on October 12.

In 1848, the company built the first long-distance telegraph line in Europe; 500 km from Berlin to Frankfurt am Main. In 1850 the founder’s younger brother, Carl Wilhelm Siemens started to represent the company in London. In the 1850s, the company was involved in building long distance telegraph networks in Russia. In 1855, a company branch headed by another brother, Carl Heinrich von Siemens, opened in St Petersburg, Russia. In 1867, Siemens completed the monumental Indo-European (Calcutta to London) telegraph line.[5]

In 1881, a Siemens AC Alternator driven by a watermill was used to power the world’s first electric street lighting in the town of Godalming, United Kingdom. The company continued to grow and diversified into electric trains and light bulbs. In 1890, the founder retired and left the company to his brother Carl and sons Arnold and Wilhelm. Siemens & Halske (S&H) was incorporated in 1897. In 1907 Siemens had 34,324 employees and was the seventh-largest company in the German empire by number of employees.[6] (see List of German companies by employees in 1907)

In 1919, S&H and two other companies jointly formed the Osram lightbulb company. A Japanese subsidiary was established in 1923.

In 1906, the Osram incandescent lamp was developed; its name was formed from the German words OSmium, from the element osmium, and WolfRAM, from the element tungsten (called wolfram in many languages and an alternative name in English). The British company General Electric Company imported Osram filaments for their own production of light bulbs. In 1920, Auergesellschaft, Siemens & Halske, and Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) combined their electric lamp production with the formation of the company Osram.

Osram:

Type Corporation

Industry Lighting

Founded 1906

Headquarters Munich, Germany

During the 1920s and 1930s, S&H started to manufacture radios, television sets, and electron microscopes.

Footnotes

1.      a b c d e “Siemens AG Annual report”. 2009. http://w1.siemens.com/annual/08/en/key_figures.htm.

2.      “Siemens AG Annual report”. http://w1.siemens.com/annual/08/en/key_figures.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-03.

3.      “Bloomberg.com”. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601100&sid=agxq4nZkE.lc&refer=germany. Retrieved 2008-01-12.

4.      “Siemens AG – Annual Report”. http://www.siemens.com. January 2008. http://w1.siemens.com/annual/07/en/index/key_figures.htm. Retrieved 25 February 2008.

5.      “Siemens history”. http://w4.siemens.de/archiv/en/laender/asien/indien.html. Retrieved 2008-01-12.

6.      Fiedler, Martin (1999). “Die 100 größten Unternehmen in Deutschland – nach der Zahl ihrer Beschäftigten – 1907, 1938, 1973 und 1995” (in German). Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte (Munich: Verlag C.H. Beck) 1: 32–66.

7.      Ardnacrusha – Dam hard job – Sunday Mirror, August 4, 2002

8.      eh.net

9.      BBC – Zyklon controversy

10.  jewishvirtuallibrary.org – Ravensbruck

11.  United Nations Security Council meeting 4943 page 7 on 15 April 2004 (retrieved 2007-09-06)

12.  “Board member arrested in new blow for Siemens”. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/75295b46-dcc9-11db-a21d-000b5df10621.html.

13.  Associated Press quoted by Forbes: Nokia-Siemens Venture to Start in April, March 15, 2007

14.  International Herald Tribune: Bribery trial deepens Siemens woes, March 13, 2007

15.  Agande, Ben; Miebi Senge (2007-12-05). “Bribe: FG blacklists Siemens”. Vanguard (Vanguard Media). http://www.vanguardngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2621&Itemid=41. Retrieved 2007-12-07.

16.  Taiwo, Juliana (2007-12-06). “FG Blacklists Siemens, Cancels Contract”. Thisday (Leaders & Company). http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=97185. Retrieved 2007-12-07.

17.  Siemens to spin off SEN into JV with Gores Group

18.  “Hi-tech helps Iranian monitoring”. BBC News. 2009-06-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8112550.stm. Retrieved 2010-04-07.

19.  Washington Times

20.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124562668777335653.html#mod

21.  http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/global/Press/Press+releases/news-archive/Provision+of+Lawful+Intercept+capability+in+Iran.htm

22.  cnbc.com a b EU cracks down on electricity-gear cartel, EurActiv, 25 January 2007 (English)

23.  Lichtblau, Eric; Dougherty, Carter (2008-12-16). “Siemens to Pay $1.34 Billion in Fines, The New York Times”. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/business/worldbusiness/16siemens.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2008-12-16.

24.  ft.com

25.  iht.com

26.  “The New York Times”. 2007-05-15. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/business/worldbusiness/15siemens.html. Retrieved 2007-05-15.

27.  “New organizational structure of Siemens AG as of January 1, 2008”. http://w1.siemens.com/press/en/events/press-briefing.php. Retrieved 2008-03-08.

28.  [1]

29.  Power Generation, Power Transmission & Distribution

30.  Siemens VDO

31.  diagnostics.siemens.com

Further reading

●     Weiher, Siegfried von /Herbert Goetzeler (1984). The Siemens Company, Its Historical Role in the Progress of Electrical Engineering 1847–1980, 2nd ed. Berlin and Munich.

●     Feldenkirchen, Wilfried (2000). Siemens, From Workshop to Global Player, Munich.

●     Feldenkirchen, Wilfried / Eberhard Posner (2005): The Siemens Entrepreneurs, Continuity and Change, 1847–2005, Ten Portraits, Munich.

Siemens & Halske:

Indo-European telegraph line London to Calcutta 1870

“A dispatch to Teheran required only one minute, while it took a sensational 28 minutes to reach Calcutta.”

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COMMITTEE ON THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM

July 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Economics, Eurozone, Financial, Globalization, Research, World-system | Leave a comment

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Mark Carney appointed Chairman of the

Committee on the Global Financial System

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 6/29/10

At their meeting in Basel this weekend, the central bank Governors of the Global Economy Meeting (GEM)[1] appointed Mark Carney as Chairman of the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS). Mr Carney is Governor of the Bank of Canada.

Mr Carney’s appointment as Chairman of the CGFS is for a term of three years starting on 1 July 2010. He succeeds Donald L Kohn, who has been CGFS Chairman since July 2006 and is retiring as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Mark Carney has been Governor of the Bank of Canada since February 2008. After 13 years in the private sector, he was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada in 2003, and then served as Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Finance from 2004 until his appointment as Governor of the Bank. Mr Carney has a doctorate in economics from Oxford University.

The CGFS is a central bank forum for monitoring and examining broad issues relating to financial markets and systems, with a view to elaborating policy recommendations to support central banks in the fulfilment of their responsibilities for monetary and financial stability. Further information about the CGFS may be found on the BIS website at www.bis.org/cgfs/index.htm.

Communications,

Bank for International Settlements

E-mail: press@bis.org

Website: www.bis.org

Phone: +41 61 280 8188

[1] The members of the GEM consist of Governors from 30 BIS shareholding central banks: the central bank Governors of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States and also the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mark Carney appointed Chairman of the

Committee on the Global Financial System

www.bis.org/cgfs/index.htm

Press, Service (press@bis.org)

Publications, Service (Publications@bis.org)

Tue 6/29/10

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