In Brief: AIG Extends Reach in Canadian Market

Article excerpt

AIG United Guaranty Corp., the first mortgage insurance provider to break the long-standing duopoly in the Canadian market, said it has received approval to cover Canadian mortgages sold in the secondary market.

The Greensboro, N.C., unit of American International Group Inc. began writing policies for balance sheet lenders in November.

Andy Charles, the chief executive of the Canadian operation, said Thursday that the authorization under Canada's National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities program is "a necessary condition" for the business.

Before AIG's entry, Canadian mortgage insurance had been the exclusive domain of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., a government agency, and Genworth Financial Inc. of Richmond, Va., which set up shop in 1995.

AIG identified Canada "as a significant market opportunity" in late 2003 or early 2004, Mr. Charles said. Last year the country's Parliament opened the door to competitors by revising a law that had identified the incumbent providers by name. …