CBL ordered to cease business in Ireland

Troubles escalate for NZX-listed insurer.

It keeps getting worse for insurer CBL [NZX:CBL]. With its shares suspended and its core business shredded in France, CBL told the stock exchange today that its Irish subsidiary had been ordered to cease writing new business immediately.

The order was issued by the Central Bank of Ireland, CBL said, and covered its Ireland-registered subsidiary CBL Insurance Europe Dac.

CBL said it has taken legal advice and instructed lawyers to ask for the CBI to lift the order.

“Failing this, CBLIE reserves its rights to take any action it deems necessary to protect its interests,” it said.

The announcement adds to a horror start to the year for CBL, which issued a profit warning on February 5 citing major problems in its French construction insurance business.

CBL shares have not traded since February 1 and were suspended by the NZX on February 8. NZX Regulation said at the time it was concerned not all material information was available to the market.

“Furthermore, NZXR understands the FMA and other regulators have raised concerns relating to the completeness and veracity of information that has been released to the market by CBL.”

On February 13 CBL announced it would exit the French business, a process that would take 90 days to complete. It described the move as “a significant and positive decision.”

The company is due to release its results for the year to December on February 27.

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