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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Swiss Exchange  >  Zurich Insurance Group Ltd    ZURN   CH0011075394

ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP LTD

(ZURN)
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Lloyd's Insurer Apollo Syndicate to Exit Adani's Carmichael Coal Mine

10/28/2020 | 11:28am EST

By Dieter Holger

Apollo Syndicate Management Ltd., which is part of the Lloyd's of London insurance market, doesn't plan to keep underwriting the construction of Adani Mining Pty. Ltd.'s Carmichael coal mine in Australia, joining other insurers that have backed away from one of the world's biggest coal projects amid pressure from environmentalists and dim long-term prospects for coal.

Julian Cusack, chair of the board of directors at Apollo Syndicate, told nonprofit Market Forces that Apollo Syndicate was underwriting "one construction liability policy" for Adani's mine but that policy terminates September 2021 and the firm won't provide anymore insurance, including for the project's port and rail extension, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

"We will not participate in any further insurance policies for risks associated with this project," he said. Mr. Cusack confirmed to the Journal that he wrote the email, but didn't provide additional comment.

The Stop Adani environmentalist campaign said that Apollo Syndicate is the 27th insurer and 17th Lloyd's of London insurer to rule out the mine. Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurance market, said in 2018 that it would divest from coal but doesn't have a coal policy for underwriters like Apollo Syndicate that are part of its market. Lloyd's of London didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Many big European insurers, including Swiss Re AG and Zurich Insurance Group AG, have said they would stop backing coal projects.

Indian conglomerate Adani didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Adani's Carmichael coal mine under construction in Queensland, Australia, has drawn fire from environmentalists after authorities greenlighted the project last year. As of early 2020, the mine has already drawn more than $1 billion in contracts and will produce some 10 million metric tons of coal a year when finished, according to Adani's website.

"The Carmichael mine, through mining taxes and royalties, will generate billions of dollars for government in its first 30 years of operation. This money will help to build new schools, hospitals and roads for Queensland," according to Adani's website.

Pablo Brait, the campaigner at Market Forces who exchanged emails with Apollo Syndicate's Mr. Cusack, said he hopes more insurers will follow and that Adani needs to explain to investors, bankers and contractors how it plans to insure the mine in the future.

"With the mainstream insurers and now the Lloyd's market turning their backs, how will it deal with the significant risks that running a massive coal mine, rail line and port entail," he said.

Write to Dieter Holger at dieter.holger@wsj.com; @dieterholger

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-28-20 1227ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BRAIT SE 0.29% 3.4 End-of-day quote.-75.54%
SWISS RE LTD 1.98% 84.68 Delayed Quote.-23.62%
ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP LTD 1.11% 372.8 Delayed Quote.-7.10%
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Sales 2020 45 141 M 49 750 M 49 750 M
Net income 2020 2 798 M 3 084 M 3 084 M
Net Debt 2020 4 504 M 4 964 M 4 964 M
P/E ratio 2020 19,1x
Yield 2020 5,26%
Capitalization 54 933 M 60 615 M 60 543 M
EV / Sales 2020 1,32x
EV / Sales 2021 1,22x
Nbr of Employees 55 000
Free-Float 98,0%
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Average target price 380,76 CHF
Last Close Price 368,90 CHF
Spread / Highest target 16,6%
Spread / Average Target 3,21%
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Mario Greco Group Chief Executive Officer
Michel M. Liès Chairman
Kristof Terryn Group Chief Operating Officer
George Quinn Group Chief Financial Officer
Alison Jane Carnwath Independent Non-Executive Director
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