by Angelique Ruzicka, finance editor
Brit Insurance’s share price fell by 2.69% on Monday amid speculation that it is to abandon a planned £150m rights issue. The Lloyd’s insurer had wanted to take advantage of hardening market conditions and finance potential acquisitions but, according to press reports, the fundraising efforts are to be abandoned after investors indicated they would not support the plans.
Brit said it would not comment on market speculation.
The rumours come a week after Brit posted pre-tax profit of £89.2m for 2008, down from £191.2m in 2007. Gross written premium rose to £1.4bn in 2008, up from £1.3bn in the previous year. Brit, which also announced plans to re-domicile in the Netherlands, attributed the profit drop to high payouts on hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
The only listed insurer to report a huge fall in share price over the week was Catlin. Its shares plunged 10.32% to 288.25p. Legal & General had the biggest rise of the week, up 42.17% to 32.7p.
Aviva (18.5%) and Pru (37.5%) also recorded big rises.
Only a handful of insurers listed on the Alternative Investment Market reported drops in their share price. Resources In Insurance had the biggest fall this week, dropping 20% to 20p.