NU Online News Service, Jan. 6, 8:03 a.m. – Britannic Group P.L.C., Birmingham, United Kingdom, says its Britannic Assurance unit, a midsize British life insurer, may have to defer its 2002 policyholder bonus to cope with the effects of the stock market slump.

Britannic Group itself may not have enough cash to pay dividends to shareholders, the company warns.

The company has had about 72% of its “with profit” fund assets invested in stocks. The company recently cut the stock allocation to 42% to reduce exposure to market volatility.