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The value of insurance-linked-securities (ILS) placements increased by more than half in the 2011 first quarter as four insurers placed more than $1 billion in bonds in the market, according to a report from Willis Group.

In its “ILS Market Update, Q1 2011: The Market Digests a Major Catastrophe Event” report, Willis Capital Markets & Advisory says there was a record $1.015 billion of ILS placed in the market compared to $650 million for the same period last year—in a quarter traditionally seen as “relatively quiet” for such placements.

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