LONDON-- Lloyd's of London announced today that the market will have the capacity to underwrite 14.9 billion pounds Sterling (pounds) of business in 2004, or $26.7 billion.  This figure maintains 2003's capacity level of 14.9 billion pounds, or $23.2 billion.

"The capacity figure demonstrates the strength of the market and its focus on underwriting discipline within the Lloyd's businesses," said Nick Prettejohn, Lloyd's Chief Executive.  "The market's priority is to continue to improve the quality of its business, rather than simply increasing market share.

The announcement of capacity for 2004 follows the first business plan approval process under Lloyd's new Franchise Board and Franchise Performance Directorate. This business planning process sets out guidelines for best practice and performance to help members of the market strengthen profitability and increase standards of risk management.

"The first year of the new Franchise structure has helped to ensure that the market's plans for 2004 are grounded in the reality of external market conditions, to deliver underwriting profit and maximize returns to capital providers," Mr. Prettejohn continued. "The Lloyd's market is healthy with a firm capital base.  Indications for 2003 performance continue to be strong and the current outlook for 2004 is good. We have unrivalled underwriting expertise, stable security ratings, and a diverse base of capital providers who believe in this market's ability to deliver strong performance."

The figure announced today of 14.9 billion pounds capacity is provisional, and will be finalized in the first quarter of 2004.  In January 2003, capacity stood at 14.4 billion pounds.  Throughout the year that figure increased to 14.9 billion pounds capacity. These figures are exclusive of Qualifying Quota Share (QQS).

Source: Lloyd's of London



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