CORRECTED-Willis expects record non-life catastrophe bond volumes this year

Mon Jul 7, 2014 11:06am EDT

(Corrects last paragraph to say WCMA is the capital markets arm of "Willis Group", not "Willis Re")

July 7 (Reuters) - The non-life catastrophe bond market issued record volumes during the second quarter, Willis Capital Markets & Advisory (WCMA) said, adding that it expects full-year issuance to be between $8 billion and $9 billion.

Catastrophe bonds help insurers manage their exposure to natural disasters by transferring potential losses to investment funds. Investors receive a high yield on the bonds in return for agreeing to cover damages they consider unlikely.

A global slump in interest rates since the financial crisis has tempted more and more pension funds, institutional investors and high net-worth individuals to invest in catastrophe bonds and other capital market products.

Non-life catastrophe bond capacity rose 36 percent to $4.5 billion in the second quarter, WCMA said, driven by an Everglades Re $1.5 billion bond for Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp and two Sanders Re bonds totaling $950 million for Allstate Corp. (bit.ly/1r2O7pY)

"We feel optimistic that 2014 will end up a record setting year for the (catastrophe) bond market," WCMA Chief Executive Tony Ursano said, adding that he expected a "relatively quiet" third quarter and a "busy" final one.

WCMA is the capital markets arm of Willis Group. (Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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