Canadian Underwriter

Odyssey Re realized gains up; Crum and Forster facility in place

July 4, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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In advance of reporting its second-quarter 2003 results, Fairfax company Odyssey Re Holdings Corp. (NYSE, TSX: ORH) says its net pre-tax realized capital gains will be about US$130 million for the period ending June 30, 2003.
This makes year-to-date pre-tax capital gains of $170, largely realized on its fixed income securities portfolio.
The company notes the portion of its investment portfolio comprising cash and short-term securities has increased significantly, expected to exceed US$1.5 billion at the end of the second quarter, versus US$674 million at the end of 2002. This situation is expected to remain at the same high level for the near-term, the company reports.
Pre-tax unrealized gains stand at US$125 million at the end of the second quarter, versus US$37 million at the end of 2002.
“OdysseyRe remains focused on maximizing growth in shareholders’ equity,” says CEO Andrew A. Barnard. “Combining our disciplined underwriting approach with total return, value oriented investing has allowed us to achieve superior returns in a challenging environment.
In other news, Fairfax says proceeds from the US$300 million private debt placement issue by subsidiary Crum & Forster are now released from escrow. This follows the re-negotiation of a bank credit facility that will see US$210 million of the proceeds go to Fairfax. The company may use the funds to purchase or repay outstanding indebtedness, or to invest in cash, short-term investments or marketable securities.
The new bank agreement, made with a syndicate of 10 banks, runs to the end of 2005 and provides a revolving credit facility, with US$240 million of letters of credit outstanding.
Fairfax says the new facility is more flexible in that it allows for borrowing by the company’s Northbridge and Odyssey Re operations.

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