ROME, June 18 (Reuters) - Italy’s insurance watchdog IVASS said on Thursday it had started monitoring solvency and liquidity ratios of the country’s insurers from mid-March, after the pandemic and an ensuing rout on financial markets hurt the industry.
IVASS said checks were being carried out on a weekly basis for larger players and that it demanded action if an insurer’s solvency ratio, a key indicator of financial strength, fell below 130%.
The regulator has asked Cattolica Assicurazioni, Italy’s fifth-largest insurer whose top shareholder is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, to bring forward a planned capital hike after its solvency position deteriorated.
The average solvency ratio of Italian insurers stood at 210% at the end of March from 235% at the end of December, IVASS said.
Its chief Stefano De Poli added the situation had lately improved thanks to lower risk premiums on Italian government bonds and a general recovery on financial markets, but he added uncertainty remained high.
Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Giulia Segreti