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Stockwatch: Generali stock wobbles as life unit swings to Q1 loss

Sector proved relatively resilient, with each of the regional sub-groups outperforming their respective market indices

Hannover Re was the week's top performer as SiriusPoint, RenRe and Greenlight Capital Re stocks also do well

Shares in Generali fell 4% in the week to May 24, despite posting a much-improved first-quarter result and confirming its 2024 targets.

Strong non-life performance helped the group cut its combined ratio 5.6 points to 90.7% and lift its operating result by 22% to €1.8bn ($1.9bn). 

However, a downturn in its life business – which swung from a €3.7bn inflow in the first quarter of 2022 to a €190m outflow in the same period in 2023 – may have spooked investors.

Elsewhere in Europe, Aviva (-2.8%) also fell, consolidating its position as the worst performer of the sub-group this year having fallen 9.9%. There may be a new dawn on the horizon, however, as activist investor Cevian this week sold its stake in the insurer after forcing the firm to increase payouts to investors.

Hannover Re (+2.5%), which announced improved results a fortnight ago, was the top performer in a week in which most insurance stocks fell in value.

However, the sector proved relatively resilient, with each of the regional sub-groups outperforming their respective market indices.

It was another good week for the two best performers of 2023 – SiriusPoint (+2%) and Greenlight Capital Re (+1.7%), which have risen in value by 59.5% and 21.1% in the year-to-date, respectively. 

RenRe also gained 1.3% in a week in which it announced the acquisition of treaty reinsurer Validus Re from AIG. 

The only sub-group to underperform the indices was the brokers, which sank 2.9%. So far in 2023, WTW (-9.8%) has lagged its two main rivals, which are both in positive territory.

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