Munich Reinsurer Reels over Downgrade, Loss | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 28.08.2003
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Munich Reinsurer Reels over Downgrade, Loss

The world's largest reinsurance firm, Munich Re, disappointed markets on Thursday with losses that nearly exceeded expectations. Although the firm managed to trim its losses to €365 million ($397.7 million) in the second quarter, the shortfall was the fifth in a row for Munich Re and puts pressure on the firm to raise new capital. To make matters worse, Standard & Poors downgraded the firm's credit rating on Wednesday. The downgrade will make it more expensive for company executives to raise new capital in the future. Worldwide, Munich Re provides insurance to other companies in the sector, including coverage for natural disasters. But lately the reinsurance giant has been hurt more by losses in its stock portfolio than by claims for damage caused by nature. Munich Re has invested much of its capital in equity markets and tumbling share prices have devastated its bottom line. Last year alone, the firm incurred losses of over €5 billion.