Rendez-Vous news, by Michelle Hannen in Monte Carlo

The two largest reinsurers in the world, Munich Re and Swiss Re, are willing to forego "billions" of euros of business in order to maintain profitability.Speaking at the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous, Munich Re chairman Nikolaus von Bomhard said that making a profit remained the company's primary goal. For the first six months of 2004, Munich Re's gross premiums earned fell by just over 5% compared to the same period for 2003.Of further reductions to the company's top line as the market softens, von Bomhard said: "We are ready to let business go quite substantially. We're talking billions here."He said Munich Re was incentivising its underwriters to turn away business that could not be written at risk adequate levels.Also speaking in Monte Carlo, Swiss Re chief executive John Coomber said: "We will certainly give up large volumes of business if the prices degenerate to unattractive levels." When asked how much business he would be willing to sacrifice, Coomber said: "It is likely to be billions, if cycles are as they were in the past."

Reinsurance rates fallingCedants are expecting reinsurance rates to fall during the upcoming renewal season, according to a market survey by Aon Re. The ratings agencies also confirmed that the reinsurance cycle had turned.

Bermuda players move inBermuda-based reinsurers are increasingly moving into casualty lines, impacting upon more established players, according to market analysts.

S&P upgrades industry Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has revised its outlook for the global reinsurance industry from negative to stable.