The week's winners
Zurich Financial Services up 28.7%
Royal & SunAlliance up 19.3%

The week's losers
Culver down 6.9%
Cox down 3.3%

After weeks of heavy falls it is good to see …

The week's winners
Zurich Financial Services up 28.7%
Royal & SunAlliance up 19.3%

The week's losers
Culver down 6.9%
Cox down 3.3%

After weeks of heavy falls it is good to see Zurich and Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) regaining some ground.

But hold back the applause for a moment.

About the only thing pushing up R&SA's share price last week was the prospect of one of Britain's oldest insurance companies might be sold off to the US and its chief executive quitting.

It would appear its stock rose as investors greeted tales that either chief executive Bob Mendelsohn could be about to throw in the towel or that AIG could be about to pounce and snap up the group.

The stockmarket is famously hard nosed, but within the industry there would be many who would mourn if R&SA were to pass out of UK control.

Since its foundation in 1710, The Sun part of the group is the oldest insurance company still trading under its original name.

This simply underlines the fact that to lose the R&SA name would be a blow, not just for insurance, but for British industry as a whole.

Over at Lloyd's, Chaucer is raising the capacity of its non-marine Syndicate 1096 by £40m in a bid to recoup two years of losses.

It has won Lloyd's approval to increase capacity from its current £112m for the rest of this year to £160m for 2003.

The announcement came as Chaucer forecast the syndicate to lose between 17.5% and 7.5% of its £90m of capacity this year.

It updated its forecasts for 2000, moving the syndicate to a predicted loss of between 22.5% and 15% of £80m of capacity from a forecast of losing between 22.5% and 12.5%.

Capacity increases on its other syndicates will take its total capacity to £358.5m for 2003.

The Lloyd's insurer forecast a profit equivalent to between 5% and 10% of capacity for its motor Syndicate 587 with capacity at £88.9m.

But marine Syndicate 1084 was forecast to lose between 15% and 5% of capacity of £77.5m.

Chaucer revised its forecast for 2000 on motor Syndicate 587 to a loss of between 4% and 1% of £96.5m capacity from a loss of between 5% and break-even.

The company held its 11 September losses steady at £7m.