(Reuters) - British insurer Amlin (>> Amlin plc) has denied being open to a bid as a wave of takeovers helps reshape the industry.

"We are not for sale," Charles Philipps, chief executive of the company which has a stock market value of some 2.5 billion pounds, told reporters on Monday following release of half-year trading figures, which were largely in line with expectations.

Philipps said Amlin, a specialist in property, casualty, marine and aviation insurance, could thrive as a standalone business and had no urgent need to team up with anyone else.

British trade publication Insurance Insider had reported in late July that Amlin was open to a sale, if a bidder could be prepared to offer a sufficient control premium.


Amlin shares were down 2.3 percent at 488.6 pence by 1030 GMT, having dropped as low as 474.5 pence, their lowest in nearly two months.

Tighter European regulations coming into force in January, together with strong competition and low investment returns, have helped encourage a series of deals in the sector and some analysts expect more to follow, in Europe and the United States.

A surge in consolidation this year has including Ace's (>> ACE Limited) union with Chubb Corp (>> Chubb Corp), insurance broker Willis's (>> Willis Group Holdings PLC) merger with Towers Watson & Co (>> Towers Watson & Co), Tokio Marine's (>> Tokio Marine Holdings Inc) acquisition of HCC Insurance (>> HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.), Canada-based Fairfax's $1.8 billion deal to buy Brit Plc and Catlin's 2.79 billion pounds tie-up with XL Group (>> XL Group plc).

Amlin reported a 6.2 percent rise in gross written premiums in the six months through June but warned competition in reinsurance remained challenging.

The company also said it had launched operations in Dubai through the Lloyd's of London [LOL.UL] platform, prompting speculation it could be among the first UK-based insurers to open in nearby Iran.

Philipps said the group would consider the opportunity in due course.

Some Western and Middle East insurance specialists see Iran as an appealing $8 billion market in the wake of its nuclear deal with world powers, though uncertainty remains over when sanctions on Tehran will be lifted.

Insurers such as Amlin could cater to demand for insurance and reinsurance in Iran's marine and energy sectors following the lifting of international sanctions.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sinead Cruise and David Holmes)

By Aashika Jain