The week's winners
Allianz up 8.8%
SVB up 6.2%

The week's losers
Culver down 13.3%
Wellington down 5.7%

Marsh could be on the verge of announcing its acquisition of Heath Lambert, industry figures suggest.

In fact, some City sources had been expecting both sides to want to go public last Friday, to fit in with a holiday reportedly planned by Heath Lambert chief executive David Margrett.

The performance by Allianz in this week's winners' belies its true gains. After putting on 8.8% last week, it made another 4% spurt on Monday morning after reports suggested that senior executives were planning to get together and wrestle with the problems of the bank's future. Allianz shares were trading at E81.9 by Monday lunchtime.

Over at Lloyd's, SVB continues to gain ground on the stock market. It reported rates for specialty lines up by 38% in the first half and average premium rises of 26% across all classes.

It will boost its capacity by 19% next year to £521m from £438m.

The increase will be concentrated on Syndicate 1007 which writes specialty lines and will see capacity increased to £235m from £151m. Syndicate 2147's capacity will remain unchanged at £286m.

The group expects to provide at least £473m, or 90.8% of the capacity, compared to £406m or 92.7% in 2003.

A consensus forecast by four analysts puts this year's profits at £34.5m, up from £10.1m last year. The stock's turnaround, following a dismal start to the year, will be welcomed by Caledonia Investments that recently took its holding to 14.7million shares, or 4.01%, with the addition of a million shares.