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Radian group’s losses top $1 billion

Private mortgage insurer raising rates, standards

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Private mortgage insurer Radian Group Inc. reported a $618 million fourth quarter loss today, bringing losses for the year to $1.2 billion. Net premiums written for the quarter were up 11.1 percent from a year ago, to $309.6 million, but were more than offset by a $458.5 million write-down in the value of derivative investments and a $687.8 million boost in mortgage insurance loss reserves. For the year, net premiums rose 6.5 percent, to $1.18 billion, but Radian posted a loss for the year as write-downs of derivate investments totaled $1.2 billion and loss reserves rose to $1.3 billion, compared to $369 million a year ago. Analysts at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last month boosted by 20 percent their loss projections for mortgage and bond insurers, citing deteriorating performance of subprime loans packaged into securities (see Inman News story). Moody's Investors Service announced in September that it had placed the Aa3 insurance financial strength ratings of...