Show Hide image

AIG net income rises 18 per cent in second-quarter

The insurer declares first dividend since bailout in 2008.

American International Group (AIG) has posted a net income of $2.75bn for the second-quarter ended 30 June 2013, an increase of 17.9 per cent compared to $2.33bn for the same period last year.

Division wise, AIG Property Casualty reported an operating income of $1.1bn in the second quarter of 2013 (2012: $936m), while AIG Life and Retirement reported an operating income of $1.2bn (2012: $933m).

The company’s residential mortgage guaranty operations division, United Guaranty Corporation, posted an operating income of $73m for the period ($43m last year), while AIG’s other operations division reported an operating income of $126m in second-quarter of 2013 (2012: $639m).

The company declared its first quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share since the bailout it received in 2008. It also authorised the repurchase of shares up to $1bn at $2.50 per share.

AIG said that it reduced debt in the second-quarter of 2013 by $931m by effectively managing liability.

Robert Benmosche, president and CEO of AIG, said: “Our profits this quarter illustrate the success of our continued focus on our core insurance operations and ongoing commitment to capital management. Our property casualty, life and retirement, and mortgage insurance businesses all posted strong operating results.”

Meanwhile, the company said that its aircraft leasing unit International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) is yet to find a buyer. Reuters has reported that talks are on to sell it to a Chinese consortium for approximately $4.8bn.

Show Hide image

No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.