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Europe Bank Distress May Offer Insurers Buying Opportunity

Insurers and reinsurers may join hedge funds and private-equity firms in bidding for assets as distressed European lenders raise capital to withstand the region’s debt crisis.

“Insurers have the big advantage that they have abundant liquidity coming in from customers’ premium payments,” said Andrew Broadfield, an analyst with Barclays Capital in London. “They could hold assets, which distressed banks may have to sell, until maturity even if they are illiquid.”