Prudential expects big storm tabPrudential Insurance Co...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 24, 1992

Prudential expects big storm tab

Prudential Insurance Co., the nation's biggest insurance company, said yesterday that it expects to pay out more than $1 billion in claims for the damage caused by Hurricane Andrew.

The estimate was four times larger than it predicted after the devastating storm struck last month, ravaging south Florida and Louisiana.

The insurer, based in Newark, N.J., said it expects more than 35,000 claims from policyholders of its Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance Co. subsidiary. Prudential said it will make a capital infusion of $900 million to the subsidiary to cover the claims.

Natural gas prices rise sharply

Natural gas prices extended their remarkable post-hurricane ascent yesterday, with the contract for October delivery rising cents, to $2.743 per 1,000 cubic feet, in the contract's final day of trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Traders said the buying strength that developed after Hurricane Andrew temporarily disrupted 5 percent of the nation's natural gas output in late August had evolved beyond bullish sentiment this week, possibly setting the stage for a sharp retreat.

C&P Telephone to give refunds

Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland has agreed to refund the state nearly $530,000 for billing overcharges and errors, Gov. William Donald Schaefer announced yesterday.

The refund is the result of an audit of state telephone invoices from June 1, 1985, to Sept. 30, 1991, conducted by ORS Associates Inc., of McLean, Va.

Under the settlement, which was approved yesterday by the Board of Public Works, the state will get $323,046 and ORS will get $206,538. C&P said it has corrected the sources of overcharges found during the audit.

GM subsidiary buys Rouse stock

General Motors Investment Management Corp., a New York-based subsidiary of General Motors that provides investment management services to GM and its subsidiaries, has acquired 5.4 percent, or 2.6 million common shares, of the Rouse Co., a Columbia-based real estate acquisition and development firm.

GM Investment Management purchased the shares from Trizec Investment Corp. Sept. 21 for $12 each in a private placement and holds the stake as an investment, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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