The week's winners
Royal & Sun Alliance up 2.4%
Hardy up 1.3%
The week's winnersRoyal & Sun Alliance up 2.4%Hardy up 1.3%
The week's losersCulver down 14%Chaucer down 9%The market has reacted favourably toward Royal & SunAlliance's (R&SA) announcement that it has commenced a review after receiving offers for its Scandinavian operation, Codan. In a further vote of confidence, Standard & Poor's said the review would not affect R&SA's A- credit rating.R&SA has a 72% stake in Codan, which means it could make up to £984m from a sale. Analysts said that it was unlikely that R&SA would need the money to repair its balance sheet, which means the money could be employed as additional capacity for commercial underwriting. However, on the flip side, any sale could pose a problem. It would leave R&SA with core businesses in just the UK and Canada, plus a few miscellaneous international groups, while still maintaining its closed books of business in the US.Industry sources claim that Nordea, Sampo and Tryg Vesta have all shown an interest in all, or part of, Codan and it is understood that even Zurich is paying it some attention. Zurich group chief executive James Schiro said at last week's AGM that the group was considering acquisitions, but when approached, Zurich would not confirm or deny if it has its eye on Codan. Speaking of eyes, another company to keep one on is New York-based investment banking and brokerage firm Keefe, Bruyette & Wood, which is making inroads into the UK insurance world. The company has snatched several experts from Fox-Pitt, Kelton, among them William Hawkins, head of insurance research.