The week's winners
Wellington Underwriting up 6.4%
Goshawk up 5%

The week's losers
Windsor down 4.5%
Cox down 2.8%

The spectre of FRS17 - the rule that stops finance directors …

The week's winners
Wellington Underwriting up 6.4%
Goshawk up 5%

The week's losers
Windsor down 4.5%
Cox down 2.8%

The spectre of FRS17 - the rule that stops finance directors `smoothing out' the value of their pension funds over years - reared its head again this week.

Broker Bradstock has been labouring for months on working out how to fill a £14m gap between its scheme's current value and its liabilities.

It announced the result this week - a weird and wonderful combination of hard cash and hope that will leave the scheme's pensioners praying for the company's stock to rise above its current 3.2p value.

The deal falls short of meeting the £14m in cash and so includes a batch of new shares in Bradstock. All things being well, these should rise in value.

If, however, the stock continues in its current lethargic state, it could be a long time before pensioners feel comfortable with their fund's value.

Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) announced a £77m boost to its general insurance underwriting with a plan to sell off its Benelux subsidiaries.

The sale is the second major step in the company's plan to raise £800m to support underwriting and will be a welcome boost towards that target.

The buyer, Achmea Holding NV, will pay in cash - also something to be welcomed, as R&SA can plough the money straight into general insurance underwriting.

Don't expect a flood of cheap cover just yet, though.

Chief executive Bob Mendelsohn can't rest until his results are showing some healthy profits and that will require some very careful underwriting.

The company's reserving against asbestos looked like a wise move when the House of Lords delivered last week's ruling on the subject.

Eagle Star has possibly the largest share of UK employers' liability. Its parent, Zurich, is thought to hold UK asbestosis reserves of £567m - seen as sufficient by analysts at Commerzbank.

Zurich itself is now hoping for a period of stability under Rolf Huppi's successor, James Schiro.

Unfortunately he had to start by warning the group needed some extra cash in the bank to take advantage of high rates, but all the turmoil has helped push the stock down to £16.45p - where it looks rather on the cheap side.