The top 25 U.S. life insurers held about $116 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities in 2007, and those securities accounted for 3.9% of the insurers’ $3 trillion in 2007 total net admitted assets.
Financial filings show that 6 of the top 25 companies had less than 2% of their assets in CMBS in 2007, and that the two carriers with the most CMBS exposure had 7% to 11% of their assets in CMBS.
National Underwriter compiled those figures by analyzing CMBS from Highline Data, a unit of Summit Business Media L.L.C., New York, the parent of National Underwriter Life & Health.
Highline Data gets its figures from insurer financial statements collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.
The totals reflect the holdings of the insurers themselves, and not the holdings of asset management affiliates or other affiliates.
Analysts are paying closer attention to financial services companies’ CMBS holdings because of reports of growing weakness in the commercial real estate market.
CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., New York, says the national office vacancy rate increased to 14.7% in the fourth quarter of 2008, from 12.8% in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The International Council of Shopping Centers, New York, reported Thursday that there were 150,000 store closings in 2008 and that a similar number of stores is likely to close this year.