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Travelers expects $1B cost from spring storms

Oklahoman Published: June 12, 2011
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The Travelers Companies Inc. says that severe weather in April and May will likely cost the company between $1 billion and $1.05 billion.

Travelers said Friday the cost estimate stems from several catastrophes including tornadoes and hail storms in the Midwest and Southeast where it had issued business and personal insurance policies. The amount is after taxes and reinsurance.

Due to the costly damages, Travelers said it will limit share repurchases to less than $250 million in the second quarter and about $400 million for the first half of the year.

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A person briefed on the matter says Ally Financial Inc. has decided to postpone its initial public stock offering because of the declining stock markets.

The former finance arm of General Motors Co. was aiming for a $5 billion to $7 billion IPO late this month, although no official date had been set.

But the person says the IPO has been postponed indefinitely until the markets improve. The person asked not to be identified because the decision has not been made public.

Ally was preparing the IPO to repay government aid it got during the financial crisis. It would not get any money from the IPO.

Ally received $17.2 billion in government support and has returned $4.9 billion through dividend payments and the sale of trust preferred securities.