NU Online News Service, Oct. 30, 3:20 p.m.EDT

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XL Capital Ltd. reported a 2009 third-quarter net loss availableto ordinary shareholders of $11.4 million. Though the (re)insurerposted a loss for the quarter, it was significantly less than the2008 third-quarter net loss of $1.6 billion.

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Hamilton, Bermuda-based XL Capital Chief Executive Officer MikeMcGavick credited solid underwriting and careful expense managementwith the turnaround, but acknowledged that "clearly there are areasfor continued improvement."

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Primarily responsible for the sharp drop in net loss for thequarter was a $1.4 billion charge in the 2008 third quarter relatedto the transaction closed on Aug. 5, 2008 with bond insurer SyncoraHoldings Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries, XL Capitalexplained.

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For the first nine months of 2009, XL Capital recorded netincome available to ordinary shareholders of $246.9 million,compared to a loss of $1.2 billion in the first nine months of2008.

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For its property and casualty operations in the third quarter,XL Capital reported gross premiums written of $1.6 billion, down16.6 percent from 2008 third-quarter gross premiums written of $1.9billion.

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The company said the drop was "primarily due to plannedreductions in long-term agreements, strengthening of the U.S.dollar compared to the third quarter of 2008, lower insured valuesreflecting macroeconomic conditions and planned reductions inseveral targeted areas."

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Net premiums earned fell to $1.3 billion in the quarter from$1.5 billion for the same period in 2008. The combined ratioimproved to 93.2 from 106.3.

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On the investment side, net investment income in the quarterfell to $327.1 million compared to 2008 third-quarter netinvestment income of $436.3 million, the company said.

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