R&SA looks to strengthen core marine segements

Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) is aiming to transfer its offshore energy business to Catlin after pulling out of the segment.

The group is turning away from the sector to concentrate on other marine business.

A spokeswoman said: "We are just not a large player in this sector.

"We don't have the critical mass to achieve the returns we wanted so we've decided to focus on and strengthen our core marine segments instead."

R&SA had written gross written premiums of £20m in offshore energy - about 10% of its total marine business.

Its core marine writing includes hull, liability, cargo and transit.

The company said it was in advanced talks with Catlin but the deal had not yet been finalised.

It would also increase its reinsurance on the existing portfolio as part of its withdrawal.

The announcement came as signs increased of growing confidence in the group's forthcoming rights issue.

R&SA was due to learn on Wednesday how much support it has received from investors.

The company's share price rose 4.6% on Friday to 90.25p from 86.25p. The rights issue shares cost 70p.

The rights issue initially met resistance from investors concerned about R&SA's plans to plough £800m of the funds raised into plugging holes in its claims reserves.