NEW ZEALAND INSURANCE COMPANY HALF-YEARLY MEETING.
[By Telegraph.] Auckland, Jan. 14. The 38 th half-yearly, meeting of shareholders, of the above Company, was held this afternoon—the Hon. James Williamson in the chair. E. J. Pierce, Esq., manager, read the half-yearly report. The Chairman, in moving the adoption, said : —“ At last meeting a hope was expressed that the half-year, just ended would prove more profitable than the one which preceded it, but I regret to say that hope has not been realised. On the contrary our losses have been exceptionally severe. I must, however, state that these have not resulted from the acceptance of doubtful risks. On the contrary, the losses have been on first class policies. In addition to these exceptionally heavy losses we have of course suffered from the greatly reduced rates of premiums brought about by a competition amongst rival establishments unprecedented in the history of Insurance Companies in these colonies ; and not only that, but we have been passing through a period of great depression, which has most materially aflected our marine insurances. With a revival of trade, which seems now to have set in, and an increase of our imports and exports, wo may reasonably look to a more extended business in this direction. Your directors have to report that the Company has withdrawn from country business in the State of California, which has proved to be of an unproductive character. They have also taken precautions to carefully scrutinise all the Company’s risks, to guard against over insurance, which is the result of a low rate of premium, and further, all heavy block risks have been avoided, and a careful re-distribution has been effected, and I am warranted in stating that the class of business secured is of a most satisfactory description. It is not a pleasing duty which devolves mi me on the present occasion, having to announce that your directors cannot recommend a higher dividend for the last halfyear than at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum. At the date of closing of the books on 30th November the Knowsley Hall, London 1o Liverpool, had not yet been posted as a missing ship, but your directors deemed it prudent to provide for a moiety of the sum the Company has upon that vessel, as one of our re-adjusted losses. We have pleasure in stating that up.to the present date our losses have been much below the average, and if the remainder of the term runs out with a similar immunity your directors anticipate being able to meet you on the termination of the current half-year with a more encouraging report and balance sheet than that which I now beg to propose for adoption. ” The report and balance sheet were adopted, nein. con. Messrs. Russell, Campbell, and Buddie, the retiring directors were re-elected, and Messrs. Fraser and Laurie were re-elected auditors. A vote of thanks was accorded the directors and the officers of the Company. Mr. 0. J. Stone thanked the shareholders for the vote, saying the motto of the Company had always been safety in the first instance, and profit afterwards, and this motto would be kept in view. There was always an ebb and flood in speculation, caused by the establishment of bogus companies. He was glad to see a revival in trade, and a prospect of improvement in the Company’s business in future. The Chairman also acknowledged the vote, which he valued more highly under pre sent circumstances. He referred to the fact that 14 years ago the Company was unable to pay a dividend at all. The directors had always been opposed to the payment of dividend out of the reserve fund. The manager, Mr. Pierce, also returned thanks on behalf of himself and the staff, and in doing so referred to the anxiety which they had experienced during the present competition, and the necessity of preventing their agents following the example of other agents in running after risky business.
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