Storms sink Goshawk

There was no respite for Goshawk this week as the troubled insurer fell to an all-time low of 9.5p.

Not even last week's news that it had sold off the assets of its core Bermudian arm Rosemont Re could lift the shares, which were trading at 44p in August.

The distressed US reinsurance business was bought by a consortium of private investors led by former Ace chairman Don Kramer for an initial sum of just $2.5m (£1.4m).

The intense hurricane season has been largely to blame for the slump in Goshawk's shares, and tropical storms also continued to weigh down on other insurers.

Beazley became the latest Lloyd's syndicate to increase its estimated losses for Katrina by $50m and estimate the impact of Rita and Wilma.

Following the update, Numis took its red pen to Beazley, cutting its price target on the shares from 115p to 106p, as well as cutting its 2005 pre-tax profit and earnings per share estimates. However, the stockbroker welcomed Beazley's plans to write more business.

"With the expectation of a more favourable trading environment, this increase in capacity stands to drive future earnings growth and we continue to believe that Beazley is an attractive long-term story."

Beazley was trading at around 98p as Insurance Times went to press.

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