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Press release from Business Wire

Argo Group Completes Issuance of a $100 Million Catastrophe Bond

Monday, June 20, 2011

Argo Group Completes Issuance of a $100 Million Catastrophe Bond09:36 EDT Monday, June 20, 2011 HAMILTON, Bermuda (Business Wire) -- Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, announced today it has successfully placed a new catastrophe bond, Loma Reinsurance Capital Limited Series 2011-1, which will provide $100 million of protection against the multiple occurrence of certain named perils. Coverage provided by the bond incepts June 17, 2011, and runs for a period of 18 months. The bond provides protection against the occurrence of two or more U.S. hurricanes, U.S. earthquakes, European windstorms, or Japan earthquakes. For activation the bond establishes per occurrence minimum loss amounts and is triggered by a second and subsequent event that meets specific loss criteria. This is Argo Group's first bond issuance in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market. The protection afforded under the bond protects the group from frequency of catastrophe losses, allows the group to further capitalize on market opportunities and efficiently replaces capital otherwise needed to support the risk of frequent and sizable events. The bond has been rated “BB-” by Standard & Poor's. Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III said, “The timing was right for Argo to enter the ILS market. With increased demand for our products and potentially increasing prices for the reinsurance protection we purchase, this bond will allow us to pursue our underwriting strategies, taking advantage of the market opportunities, knowing that the risk to the Group is substantially reduced.” ABOUT ARGO GROUP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, LTD. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII) is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. Argo Group offers a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in four primary segments: Excess & Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200. Argo's insurance subsidiaries are A. M. Best-rated 'A' (Excellent) (third highest rating out of 16 rating classifications) with a stable outlook, and Argo's U.S. insurance subsidiaries are Standard and Poor's-rated 'A-' (Strong) with a stable outlook. More information on Argo Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.argolimited.com. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains certain statements that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are qualified by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally and also may differ materially from actual future experience involving any one or more of such statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see Argo Group's filings with the SEC. The inclusion of a forward-looking statement herein should not be regarded as a representation by Argo Group that Argo Group's objectives will be achieved. Argo Group undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.Michael Russell, 210-321-8524Director of Investor Relations