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LONDON (Reuters) – The reinsurance industry has pulled back from protecting investors against non-payment of debt, reducing its exposure by 80 percent over the past nine years, industry regulators said on Tuesday.

Reinsurers sold $3.8 billion of protection through the credit default swap (CDS) market last year, down sharply from a peak of $20.3 billion in 2003, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) said in a report.

Swiss Re, the world’s No. 2 reinsurer, and AIG , the fifth-biggest primary insurer, absorbed heavy losses on credit default swaps during the 2008 financial crisis.

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