UK insurance shares took a tumble during last week’s stock market slide, but proved themselves more resilient than most.
Shares prices fell worldwide last Thursday as markets recoiled at the prospect of massive amounts of debts going unpaid and credit being squeezed.
The London stock market fell more than 3% on Thursday and continued to fall on the Friday and Monday.
Insurers suffered falls of up to 11% of their share price, made worse by their shares already suffering as investors downplayed the stocks due to likely flood pay-outs hitting profits and firms’ unattractiveness to takeover. But shares in takeover target Resolution were the only blue in a sea of red on the market screens.
Most firms saw their shares bounce back ahead of the rest of the market and were still trading higher than earlier this year.
Shares in Legal & General, for example, tumbled 11% but were still higher than a year before.
Firms such as Brit and Hiscox suffered falls below 10% but remained higher than earlier this year. The Caitlin Group dropped more than 6% but was still higher than in mid-2006 and R&SA’s 7% drop only brought it back to its price of a year before.
One of the worst hit was Aviva, which saw 10% wiped off its share value. Aviva shares hit a high at the beginning of the year, fell sharply in March, recovered in April and have been on a steady downward trend since May.
Two days’ trading doubled that steady fall. Aviva’s results are next week. Expect the bounce-back then.