Bulls roar for Amlin and Hiscox

Amlin and Hiscox were two of the biggest risers on the London Stock Exchange earlier this week, after Numis published a bullish note on the pair.

The Lloyd's insurers were trading close to their year highs as the broker upgraded both companies from 'hold' to 'buy'.

Numis hiked its target price on Amlin from 200p to 280p, saying it liked the strategy of setting up reinsurance group Amlin Bermuda: "We expect the shares to perform well, given the prospect of strong earnings growth and a comparatively low current rating."

Numis also lifted its target price on Hiscox from 226p to 255p, following its decision to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Bermuda. As Insurance Times went to press, Amlin was trading at around 225p and Hiscox was hovering at the 200p level.

Royal & SunAlliance also put in a strong performance as it sprinted up to 112p - a two-year high. The insurer started 2005 at 77.5p but reassured investors with its third quarter results earlier this month. The shares have also found support these past few months from persistent takeover rumours.

' Yvette Essen is stock market reporter and insurance correspondent for The Daily Telegraph