ArgoGlobal, a Lloyd’s insurer, has announced that its Syndicate 1200 will shut underwriting operations in Asia and quit majority of hull underwriting business within the syndicate.

The move is part of ArgoGlobal’s strategy to exit unsustainable operations in order to improve overall profitability of the business.

A member of Bermudian re/insurer Argo Group, ArgoGlobal said that the step has been taken after the Asia operations contributed less than 3% of Syndicate 1200 gross written premiums last year.

Despite closing the operations, the company will continue to honour existing policies and supervise claims management via its London office.

ArgoGlobal group head of international operations Matt Harris said: “Over the past two years, we’ve taken deliberate steps to improve profitability in Syndicate 1200 and ultimately enhance shareholder value.

“We’re executing this through underwriting actions, increased rates, and a focus on digital technology to improve underwriting margins.

“The ArgoGlobal Syndicate 1200’s Asia business recently recorded combined ratios are unsustainable and, whilst we still see growth opportunities in the region, we need to prioritize our efforts on profitable growth in other markets.”

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Harris added: “This is another step in our overall drive to increase profitability.

“It is important to note; however, we are fully committed to the remaining marine classes we insure and insuring hull on non-Lloyd’s platforms.”

Closure of these operations will not affect Argo Global’s Ariel Re Syndicate 1910 business such as its renewable energy operation in Hong Kong.