CITY: Sun Alliance

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The Independent Online
IT TAKES a stout-hearted investor to put his money into both the insurance and property sectors, but the gamble may be worth taking over the next few months on Sun Alliance. Although its credit rating was recently downgraded by Moody's, the company has a relatively strong capital position and solvency ratio compared with other insurance composites.

But most important is its high exposure to the domestic UK insurance market, where premium rates are already starting to improve after the long slump. The recovery has been so rapid that it has taken most analysts by surprise.

As important, however, is what happens in the housing market. If the volume of transactions starts to rise next year, Sun Alliance should be a big beneficiary because it is one of the largest household insurers. In which case, the dividend potential is considerable.