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Stockwatch: Beazley plummets as financial stocks nosedive

More than one in three of Insurance Day's selected stocks experienced double-digit declines this week

AIG, Beazley and Scor worst hit as insurance stocks rocked by bank collapse and crisis fears

London heavyweight Beazley has seen almost a quarter of its value wiped out in the past fortnight following an accounting blunder and a drop in annual net profits.

Beazley plunged 15% in the seven days to March 15 – a week in which financial services stocks were rocked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and concerns over Credit Suisse.

Shares in Beazley had already fallen 8.9% the week before after it emerged the firm had overstated its net asset value per share in its 2022 results which also revealed 48% year-on-year fall in net profits.

Beazley was not the only firm to see its share price dented as insurance stocks underperformed on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Lloyd’s sub-group lost 9.3%, Europeans fell 10.6% and Bermudians and ‘other’ North Americans fell 7.4%, well below par against the FTSE 100 (-7.4%), Stoxx Europe 600 (-5.3%) and S&P 500 (-2.5%).

More than one in three of Insurance Day's selected stocks experienced double-digit declines.


In Europe, French firms Scor (-15.2%) and Axa (-13.0%) saw the biggest falls. Scor posted a €301m net loss for 2022, prompting AM Best to last week downgrade its credit ratings, although S&P affirmed them.

Several Bermudian firms also struggled, with Arch Capital (-10.7%), Everest Re (-11.5%) and Renaissance Re (-11.5%) seeing most of their 2023 gains wiped out.

The biggest loser was AIG (-16.4%), which tumbled into bottom place for the year-to-date (-24.2%). AIG posted improved results in 2022, including record underwriting profits. However, the US stalwart has seen several senior departures and its stock price has fallen by 22.4% in just two weeks. 



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