Kiln increases capacityKiln will increase its underwriting capacity in 2005 from £681m to £703m. The Lloyd's insurer said underwriting conditions remained favourable throughout 2004, and early indications showed that it would remain favourable until 2005.

PBS acquires Spectrum
Primary Brokers Services (PBS) has acquired wholesale broker Spectrum Commercial Lines from Country Mutual Insurance Brokers. Spectrum has a gross written premium of £2m, which will take PBS's GWP to £35m. Spectrum will operate separately, maintaining its existing branding and trading with its panels.

Biggest acquisition for Vega
Vega Insurance Services made its fourth and largest acquisition in two years, purchasing Birmingham-based Jobson James. Jobson James has annual premium income of £16m and turnover of £2.4m. Vega said the purchase would bring its gross premium income to £40m.

XL Capital $139m (£75m) tax bill
XL Capital will be hit by a $139m (£75m) after-tax charge against its fourth quarter earnings because of the $75m (£40m) pre-tax losses it incurred from the Asian tsunamis and the 2004 hurricanes. XL estimated pre-tax hurricane losses of $520m (£279m), up from $446m (£239m).

Munich Re 2004 profits hit

Munich Re said its 2004 profits would be affected by a E2.5bn (£1.7bn) extraordinary charge announced by HVB Group, in which it holds an 18.34% stake. The reinsurer now expected profits to be in the range E1.7bn (£1.2bn) to E1.9bn (£1.3bn).

'Manageable' tsunami losses
Moody's expects the level of insured losses incurred by the Asian tsunami to be "manageable". The ratings agency said while economic losses were expected to be vast, it did not expect to downgrade insurance industry ratings.