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More Companies Report WorldCom Exposure

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NU Online News Service, June 28, 4:56 p.m. – U.S. life insurers have announced their exposure to bonds issued by WorldCom Inc., Clinton, Miss.

The insurers are AmerUs Group Company, Des Moines, Iowa, with $50 million in exposure; UICI, Dallas, with $7.5 million in exposure; and Universal American Financial Corp., Rye Brook, N.Y., with $8 million in exposure.

All the insurers emphasize that WorldCom bonds account for a very small percentage of their bond holdings.

Published reports suggest WorldCom bonds might make up about 0.3% of the total value of the bonds in U.S. life insurers’ portfolios.

WorldCom announced Tuesday that its new executives believe departed executives overstated earnings by $3.8 billion over the past five quarters. Many experts say the telecommunication company’s business and accounting problems increase the likelihood that the company will default on some or all of its $30 billion in outstanding debt.