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The outlook for reinsurance providers—and their investors—in 2012 is perhaps best reflected in the title of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods’ (KBW) third-quarter equity-research report: “The Not Totally Terrible Sector.”

Despite a lot of problems and pressures, including concern about reserves and interest rates, “things aren’t falling apart” in the reinsurance sector, says Cliff Gallant, a KBW managing director whose equity research focuses on the P&C industry. Especially for those reinsurers without significant exposure to the more severe global catastrophes this year, “conditions are tough, but nothing terrible,” he says.

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