Reinsurance fall

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The Independent Online
THE GLOBAL reinsurance industry had its best-ever year in 1997, but declining rates, falling demand and dwindling investment returns mean that the outlook for the sector is bleak, the ratings agency, Standard and Poor's, said yesterday.

"We can expect rates to fall between 5 and 10 per cent, and that's going to put some pressure on the industry," said S&P director, Don Watson.

He added that turmoil in world equities meant reduced underwriting results would not be buoyed up by investment returns.