Share deal revives Benfield

TRADERS have been keeping a close eye on Benfield this week.

Having sounded a profits warning last Friday, it revealed on Monday that CBM Partners, Vicuna Capital and WNP Investment Partnership now have a notifiable interest in the group.

The trio bought 1.4 million shares and hold 8.35 million shares, representing 3.54% of Benfield.

Benfield shares have ticked up since the disclosure, and are now trading at around 263p.

Troubled Alea Group was another talking point, with speculation that it may have to tap the market to maintain its

AM Best rating. But traders wonder how much of an appetite there is for a fundraising, noting that the stock slumped to 150p last Friday - its lowest level since floating at 250p in November 2003.

Market sources also said tracker funds have been reducing their holding in Alea over the past week, as the company lost its place in the FTSE 250 following the latest index quarterly reshuffle. Lloyd's syndicate Beazley, with shares standing around 89p, narrowly missed out on promotion to the index.

Meanwhile, rival insurer Kiln performed strongly. On Tuesday its shares hit a year high of 91.5p.

' Yvette Essen is stock market reporter and insurance correspondent for

The Daily Telegraph