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AXIS Capital Announces New $750 Million Share Repurchase Authorization

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited ("AXIS Capital") (NYSE: AXS) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has authorized the Company to repurchase $750 million of the Company’s common shares. The Board has authorized the Company to effect repurchases under this new plan from time to time in open market or privately negotiated transactions through December 31, 2014, depending on market conditions. This new repurchase authorization, effective January 1, 2013, will replace the existing authorization, which has $236 million available through December 31, 2012.

Further, the Company’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per common share, an increase of 4%. The common dividend will be payable on January 15, 2013 to the shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2012.

Albert Benchimol, President and Chief Executive Officer of AXIS Capital, said: "AXIS Capital has a track record of generating significant value for shareholders over the long term. An important component of this value creation has been the return of capital to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and a growing stream of common dividends. We are pleased to announce this ninth consecutive annual increase in AXIS Capital’s common share dividend since we began paying dividends following our initial public offering in 2003.”

“We had indicated earlier this year that in 2012 we would return a meaningful portion of earnings to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases under the appropriate conditions. Through September 2012, dividends and share repurchases aggregated to $410 million, and after including the expected impact of Storm Sandy on our fourth quarter results, we expect to end the year with increased common equity and total capital. In 2013, we fully expect to continue to generate sufficient capital to support attractive growth opportunities and maintain an active buyback program.”

In addition, the Board declared a dividend of $0.453125 per Series A 7.25% Preferred Share, a dividend of $1.875 per Series B 7.5% Preferred Share and a dividend of $0.429688 per Series C 6.875% Preferred Share. The Series A Preferred Share dividend is payable on January 15, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2012. The Series B Preferred Share dividend is payable on March 1, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 15, 2013. The Series C Preferred Share dividend is payable on January 15, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2012.

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