The week's winners
Domestic & General up 8.5%
Amlin up 7.4%
The week's losers
Highway down 9.4%
Royal & SunAlliance down 7.6%
Bradford & Bingley may be in the market this week to buy high street broker Swinton Group. Figures being touted stretch to £100m, twice the amount paid for the group by MMA two years ago.
Investors have not reacted well to R&SA's news. Standard Life Investments was just one of the shareholders who took the opportunity to dump some of the stock. It got rid of 10.7 million shares taking its holding down to 42.7 million or 2.97% of the total issued stock.
But plenty more have followed its example, judging by the share's falling price. It did well not to top our loser's box this week, having fallen 19.5p last Thursday alone from more than 150p. It was trading at 123.5p on Tuesday.
But other investors had spotted good investments in the insurance sector. Legal & General pulled off a coup when it bought into Amlin just before the Lloyd's insurer came out with storming first half numbers, revealing it had made more money in the first six months than the whole of last year. L&G snapped up 11.9 million shares on 29 August, when the stock was trading just over 135p. The stock has put on about 10p since its news last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Brit got a boost from ratings agency AM Best. It affirmed Brit Insurance Ltd's (BIL) A (excellent) financial strength rating. It had previously put the rating on review after the Brit group set about buying PRI.
AM Best said this week it expected BIL to hang on to its "excellent risk-based capitalisation" despite plans to increase net written premiums.