Bond insurer Assured Guaranty to cut more jobs

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2009 4:15 PM

Bond insurer Assured Guaranty Ltd. said Tuesday it plans to cut between 15 percent and 20 percent of its staff by March.

The company, which has already cut 130 jobs to now employ a staff of 370 people, plans to trim its ranks by as much as 20 percent by March 31, according to slides posted on the company's Web site.

The company said it has completed its first round of job cuts and that the second round is ongoing right now.

During the third quarter, Assured Guaranty consolidated facilities in New York, London and Bermuda and will merge offices in Sydney in the fourth quarter.

Separately, the Bermuda-based holding company said late Monday it would sell 23.9 million shares to raise capital for general corporate purposes.

Last month, Assured Guaranty posted a smaller third-quarter loss, as operating improvements partly offset higher losses from mortgage-backed securities.

But during the quarter the company recorded $142.2 million in losses from credit derivative contracts, compared with $30 million in the year-ago quarter. Most of the weakness in the recent quarter was because of residential mortgage-backed securities amid foreclosures during the housing slump.

Shares retreated 79 cents, or 3.5 percent, to close at $21.89.