And also...

Zurich outlook revised

Fitch Ratings has revised Zurich Insurance Company’s outlook to “negative” from “positive”. The agency has affirmed the company’s insurer financial strength rating at A+ and its long-term issuer default rating at A. Fitch said the revision reflected a decline in the capital adequacy of Zurich Financial Services, the insurer’s parent, and Fitch’s view that the group’s level of capitalisation was below expectations for the current rating level.

QBE posts £840m profit

Australian insurer QBE has posted after-tax profit of A$1.86bn (£840m) for 2008. It said investment losses were offset by foreign exchange gains. Gross written premium was up 6% to A$13.1m and net earned premium was up 9% to A$11.1m. Combined operating ratio stood at 88.5%, compared with 85.9% the previous year.

Marsh highlights risks

Marsh has launched a report highlighting the key risks that companies face as the global economy slows and offering advice about how to tackle them. Entitled Managing Through the Downturn, the study covers capital management, liability and trading risks.