Benfield directors cash in

Benfield Group directors pocketed more than £6m from the sale of shares in the reinsurance specialist, after another lock-in period expired.

The group, which floated in June 2003, saw Merrill Lynch place 11.9 million shares worth £35m at 292p each. Some of the stock belonged to directors, with chairman John Coldman selling 750,000 shares and director Dominic Christian disposing of 177,831 shares. Director Paul Karon sold 1.2 million and transferred 52,500 shares to a charitable foundation.

As Insurance Times went to press, Benfield was trading at around 305p close to its year high.

Lloyd's insurers were the main movers this week as dealers were relieved that Hurricane Rita did not cause as much damage as originally feared.

Wellington Underwriting is at a year high of 110p, Amlin is near a five-year high of 200p and Highway Insurance is trading at a four-year high of 57p.

Meanwhile, Citigroup worried that life assurer Prudential's embedded value could be hit by falling bond yields in Taiwan and cut its target price from 620p to 570p. Prudential was trading at 510p.

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