The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) has issued a press release to announce that they have hit a record volume of insurance-linked securities (catastrophe bonds) listed on their exchange. The recent completion of the Munich Re issued Queen Street II Capital Ltd. transaction has taken the amount of cat bonds listed in Bermuda to $1.814 billion.
The Irish domiciled Queen Street II cat bond provides Munich Re with $100m of capital markets funded reinsurance cover for U.S. hurricanes and European windstorms. As well as taking the BSX to a new high value of cat bonds listed, it is also the first Irish incorporated company to list on the exchange.
“The BSX now has listed 17 ILS,” said Greg Wojciechowski, chief executive officer of the BSX, “and it is the first time that we have listed an Irish-incorporated vehicle.
“We are now heading to the $2 billion mark – no small feat considering the legislation that allowed the creation of these vehicles in Bermuda was only passed in October 2009.”
Bermuda has been pushing itself as a domicile well suited for listing and domicile of insurance-linked securities in recent years and has made regulatory and legislative changes to enable issuers to list more easily on the island.
“Our goal throughout last year and this year has been to ensure that Bermuda is in the front of mind for the creation, listing and potentially secondary market trading of ILS and we will continue the effort,” added Wojciechowski.
“Bermuda is the world’s third largest reinsurance market and is already home to 1061 companies with $496 billion in assets and is a natural place for setting up cat bonds. Many of our reinsurance companies have issued cat bonds or set up special purpose vehicles such as side cars – so we have a historical interest and knowledge.”
Wojciechowski added: “We see the market in ILS as being truly international and this proves that point. Queen Street II Capital Ltd is not only incorporated in Ireland, but it is backed by Munich Re, and the sponsor of the listing is Appleby Securities (Bermuda).”
“To say we are delighted about Bermuda’s and the BSX’s results to date is an understatement. There had been serious interest in ILS in 2010 and this has continued into this year. We sense that there is an increased understanding and appreciation in the industry of Bermuda’s commitment to support the future growth of this market.”