New York - Swiss Re acts as joint book runner on the Vecta I transaction
Swiss Re Capital Markets has participated in the successful placement of CAD 120 million of notes issued by Vecta I Ltd. (“Vecta”), marking the first securitization of Canadian life insurance embedded value. The transaction is sponsored by Aurigen Reinsurance Ltd. ("ARL") and covers a portfolio of policies reinsured by ARL prior to 31 December, 2010.
Zurich - Insurance growth drivers and profitability in emerging markets
- Strong growth in emerging markets so far, driven by a favourable economic and regulatory environment
- Promising outlook though profitability poses a challenge
Insurance in emerging markets has experienced strong growth over the past decade and the outlook for the next decade remains promising. Nonetheless, given the expectation of persistent low interest rates at least in the near future, achieving profitable growth will become increasingly challenging in emerging markets.
Zurich - Preliminary catastrophe estimates for 2011
2011 will be the year with the highest catastrophe-related economic losses in history, at USD 350 billion
2011 would have been the costliest year ever for the insurance industry if Japan had been more fully insured
According to preliminary estimates from Swiss Re’s sigma team, total insured losses for the global insurance industry from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached USD 108 billion in 2011. This is more than double the figure of USD 48 billion in 2010. Claims from natural catastrophes alone reached USD 103 billion in 2011, compared to only USD 43 billion last year.
New York - Fed will consider QE3 in early 2012, predicts Swiss Re Chief Economist
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “Weak economic activity, moderating inflation and fiscal tightening will keep the Fed on hold through mid-2013, perhaps longer.”
Zurich - New sigma study explores product innovation in non-life insurance
There is much more to innovation in non-life insurance than people think. Although a changing environment continuously forces the industry to rethink its covers, insurers are often perceived as slow to embrace product innovation. This is because the nature of innovation in insurance is usually incremental and transaction-led. Insurers are constantly trying to discover new classes of risk protection, but they always need to be cautious not to overstep the boundaries of insurability.
Hong Kong - Asia's insurance market to sustain growth in 2012
Asia’s insurance market will see sustained growth in 2012, with emerging markets continuing to outpace developed markets
Life insurance premiums in Asia are projected to grow by 4.4% (0.6% in 2011) in real terms, fuelled by rebounds in China and India and expected increased demand for traditional protection-type products
Non-life insurance premiums in Asia are forecasted to grow at a slower rate of 6.0% (8.1% in 2011) in real terms, aligned with moderately slower economic growth
Zurich - Swiss Re provides estimate of its claims costs from Thailand flood
Swiss Re estimates claims costs of USD 600 million, net of retrocession and before tax
Estimates remain subject to significant uncertainty due to complexity of loss assessment
Swiss Re estimates its claims costs from severe flooding in Thailand at USD 600 million, after intense rainfall caused hundreds of deaths and flooded approximately 1500 industrial facilities. The estimate is net of retrocession and before tax. Water levels remain high in some areas, making it difficult to assess losses accurately. Estimates therefore remain subject to significant uncertainty.
London - Low interest rates, euro debt crisis negatively impact profitability
Weak economic growth in 2012 will dampen prospects for insurance industry, but outlook is better for 2013
Insurance industry has restored capitalisation beyond 2007 levels
Significant catastrophic losses in non-life business have led to a hardening of reinsurance rates
Growth of life business will recover in 2012 and 2013, but low interest rates will negatively impact profitability
Emerging markets remain growth engines
Swiss Re’s economists say the environment for the insurance industry remains very challenging but expect a more positive outlook, particularly after 2012. This is the main finding of Swiss Re’s latest publication “Global insurance review 2011 and outlook for 2012 and 2013”, presented at the Swiss Re Economic Forum in London. The insurance industry has successfully restored its capital base to a higher level compared to the beginning of the financial crisis. Large catastrophic losses, but also low investment yields, will lower profitability this year, and weak economic growth in the mature markets will constrain life and non-life premium expansion. But non-life profits will improve again after markets harden, probably late next year. Premium growth for both life and non-life will grow in 2012 and further increase in 2013. Growth in emerging markets for both the life and non-life industries is expected to be in the range of 7-9% for 2012.
London - Significant financial risk is most acute hazard for renewable energy
Renewable energy sector faces significant operational, regulatory and financial risks
Cuts in government financial support in some countries call into question future development of the sector
Growing risks in renewable energy are driving future demand for insurance
The renewable energy sector needs to improve risk management and access alternative sources of capital as operational risks rise and governments cut funding due to the uncertain economic environment. Based on a survey of 284 senior-level renewable energy executives, a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Swiss Re canvasses the risks in financing, constructing and operating renewable energy projects as well as the risk management challenges that the renewable energy industry must confront.
Zurich - Delisting and squeeze-out of shares of Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd
Swiss Re announces the delisting and squeeze-out of outstanding shares in Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (“SRZ”) following the exchange offer launched in April as part of establishing its new corporate structure. The Commercial Court of the Canton of Zurich has declared invalid all SRZ shares of the remaining minority shareholders.
Zurich - Pilot Microinsurance Program Has a Successful Payout
Oxfam America, Swiss Re and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) announced today that their innovative microinsurance program for small scale farmers in Northern Ethiopia had its first successful payout to affected policyholders this past weekend. They were joined by their partners, the Relief Society of Tigray, Dedebit Credit and Savings Institution, Nyala Insurance Company, and Africa Insurance Company, in making the announcement.
London - Swiss Re research highlights never ending circle of uncertainty
Consumers aware of need for financial provision for themselves in the future
Industry needs to do more to put products higher on consumers’ agenda and to improve access
Complex products and affordability still a barrier
Although there is a marked change in consumer awareness towards the need for greater self-reliance and financial protection, Swiss Re’s latest edition of the Insurance Report entitled “Facing life’s responsibilities”, shows that consumers are delivering an austere self-assessment of their financial exposures. Swiss Re calls on industry and government to focus on improving access to straightforward advice and on simplifying products to build trust, before considering how messages are delivered.
Zurich - Swiss Re obtains USD 130 million in natural catastrophe protection
Swiss Re has obtained a further USD 130 million in protection through the Successor X Ltd. ("Successor X") catastrophe bond programme covering North Atlantic hurricane and European windstorm. The transaction marks the fifth time that Swiss Re has used the Successor X programme to transfer risks into the capital markets.
Zurich - Swiss Re reports net income of USD 1.3 billion for 3Q 2011
Swiss Re reports a net income of USD 1.3 billion in the third quarter of 2011 (vs USD 0.6 billion in the prior-year period). All segments contributed to these results, which were supported by a moderate natural catastrophe experience and positive one-offs. Return on equity was 20.5% (vs 9.5% in the prior-year period), ensuring Swiss Re remains well on track to achieving its 2011– 2015 financial targets.
Toronto - Canadian pension funds and insurers should assess their risk exposure
Many public and private employer pension funds have under-reserved for longevity risk, a new Swiss Re Economic Research & Consulting report reveals. Annuity books of business also carry longevity risk. The report, “Longevity risk and protection for Canada,” explains that, fortunately, there are longevity re/insurance solutions to help these bodies address their exposure when funding citizens’ longer lives.
Zurich - Swiss Re places EUR 180 million of European windstorm risk
Swiss Re Capital Markets has successfully structured and placed EUR 180 million of notes issued by Calypso Capital Ltd. (“Calypso”) covering European windstorm events. Calypso is a special-purpose company incorporated in Dublin, Ireland. This is the second issuance under the EUR 1.5 billion Calypso Capital programme. The transaction sponsor is AXA Global P&C, an internal AXA group reinsurance company that also oversees AXA’s global P&C operations.
Washington, DC - USAID-Swiss Re partnership targets hunger, natural disasters
USAID and Swiss Re today announced a three-year partnership to help vulnerable communities fight hunger, build resilience to climate change, and reduce the costs of natural disasters in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
Zurich - Swiss Re proposes election of Robert Henrikson to its BoD
Robert Henrikson proposed for election to Board of Directors of Swiss Re Ltd at its next Annual General Meeting in April 2012
Swiss Re Group names Regional Presidents at Executive Committee level, effective 1 January 2012
Swiss Re's Board of Directors will propose Robert Henrikson, Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of MetLife, Inc., for election to the Board at its next Annual General Meeting on 13 April 2012. If successfully elected, he will succeed Robert A. Scott who will resign from the Board after reaching retirement age.
New York - Breaking new ground with cholera protection
Haiti’s women entrepreneurs will be first in the world to receive rapid insurance payments for income lost by their micro-businesses due to cholera. This programme, along with a five-year, multi-million dollar initiative to help farmers in Senegal boost their food and income security, were announced today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting by Swiss Re and its CGI partners as their commitments for 2012.
Monte Carlo - Swiss Re well positioned to capture growth opportunities
Swiss Re expects continued improvement in P&C underwriting conditions
Record low interest rates were biggest shock for the industry over the past three years
Swiss Re ideally positioned for exciting new business opportunities due to underwriting and risk understanding, excellent capitalisation and innovation power
Cedents and clients can benefit from the strength and integrity of the re/insurance business model especially in an environment of economic turmoil and regulatory change, Swiss Re tells at the annual Rendez-vous de Monte Carlo meeting of re/insurers.
Zurich - Catastrophes cost the insurance industry USD 70 billion
Based on first half 2011 events:
2011 will be the year with the highest insured earthquake losses in history
2011 ranks already as the second costliest year for insured catastrophic losses
According to preliminary sigma estimates, total insured losses for the global insurance industry from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached an estimated USD 70 billion in the first half of 2011. This is more than double the figure of USD 29 billion for the first six months of 2010. Claims from natural catastrophes alone reached USD 67 billion in the first half of 2011, compared to USD 27 billion in the same period of last year.
Hong Kong - Asia-Pacific sees huge increase in mortality protection gap
Swiss Re today published a study, Mortality Protection Gap: Asia-Pacific 2011, which finds that the aggregate mortality protection gap across 12 Asian markets expanded significantly from USD 16 trillion in 2000 to USD 41 trillion in 2010 (see figure 1), representing an average growth of 10% per year. This is the first study of its kind featuring multiple Asia-Pacific markets.
Zurich - Insurance-linked securities market poised for continued growth
15 years after its inception, the market for insurance-linked securities (ILS) is poised for continued growth as re/insurers, governments and corporations continue to access capital market solutions to finance growth, manage their capital and transfer risks related to natural catastrophes and other extreme events, according to Swiss Re's latest publication.
Zurich - Current approaches inadequate for assessing future longevity
The substantial increases in life expectancy witnessed in recent decades have been consistently underestimated, a new Swiss Re research report reveals. The good news that people are living longer has brought with it a massive pension shortfall, which has been exacerbated by traditional methods of forecasting longevity not taking account of certain emerging trends.
Zurich - New Swiss Re sigma study “State involvement in insurance markets"
More and more governments are leveraging private insurance skills and the growing capacity of the sector to cover catastrophe losses as well as a wide range of other risks, Swiss Re reveals in its latest sigma research publication. The Japanese earthquake tragedy earlier this year caused more than USD 200 billion in total property losses, but only USD 30 billion was covered by private insurance. In contrast, private insurers will pay about USD 9 billion of the USD 12 billion in total property losses from the recent Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake.
Norway - Challenges for the insurance business model
In Oslo today, Swiss Re, a leading reinsurer in the Nordic markets, will use its flagship Nordic Risk & Insurance Summit (NORIS™) conference to warn that the economic environment in the wake of the financial crisis is still very challenging and turbulent. The industry is moving from coping and survival to fixing profitability, product development, risk management and maximising capital efficiency. Many life companies still have a heavy focus on savings-type products with expensive guarantees. Refocusing after the crisis will have massive consequences for cash flow, product distribution, and the skills needed to run these firms. But there will also be new business opportunities.
New York - Fed rate action commentary from Swiss Re chief US economist
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s chief US Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “Economic activity and employment growth have slowed substantially this year, which will delay the initial rate hike by the Fed perhaps even until mid-2013 as they indicated.”
Zurich - Swiss Re reports net profit of USD 960 million for the second quarter
Swiss Re reports a Group net income of USD 960 million in the second quarter of 2011, compared to income of USD 812 million in the same period of 2010. All segments contributed to these positive results, which translate into a return on equity of 15.6%.
Zurich - SIX grants SRZ exemption from various disclosure requirements
Following the creation of the new listed holding company Swiss Re Ltd (SRL), Swiss Re has applied for and received from SIX Swiss Exchange an exemption from various disclosure requirements for the former holding company, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (SRZ).
Zurich - More property damage from drought-induced soil subsidence in Europe
Europe is witnessing a dramatic increase in property damage as a result of soil subsidence. Climate change could magnify those risks, a new Swiss Re publication shows. A new loss model developed by Swiss Re and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) suggests that soil subsidence will worsen and spread in Europe, with some areas seeing a more than 50% rise in future losses.
Zurich - Swiss Re’s leadership structure brought into line with legal set-up
Swiss Re is completing adjustments to its leadership structure to reflect the company’s new legal entity set-up. Stefan Lippe will continue to lead the Group as Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Re Ltd. Christian Mumenthaler becomes CEO of its reinsurance subsidiary, Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (SRZ).
The Directors of Swiss Re Group and the Directors of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation today announced that J Eric Smith will join Swiss Re as President and CEO, Americas effective July 11, taking over from Pierre Ozendo who retires this year after more than 35 years in the insurance industry.
Zurich - Swiss Re partners with Oxfam America and the World Food Programme
Swiss Re announced today at the Forum for Agricultural Risk Management conference that it is joining Oxfam America and the World Food Programme (WFP) as a Founding Sponsor of the R4 initiative and exclusive re-/insurance sector member of the Strategic Advisory Board. This is a ground-breaking new initiative to help poor rural communities protect their crops and livelihoods from the impact of climate change. Under the agreement, Swiss Re is committing USD 1.25 million to the project over five years in Ethiopia and three other countries.
Zurich - Swiss Re announces that it holds more than 98% of SRZ shares
Swiss Re announces that more than 98% of shares in Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (“SRZ”) are held by or have been tendered to Swiss Re Ltd (“SRL”). SRL will file a request with the competent court to invalidate the remaining SRZ shares.
Zurich - Swiss Re to acquire selected life insurance business from Alico
Swiss Re will acquire approximately 300 000 policies and GBP 1.6 billion in assets from American Life Insurance Company. The transaction demonstrates Swiss Re's commitment to strengthening its Admin Re® market presence.
Zurich - Swiss Re Ltd declares exchange offer successful
Swiss Re Ltd (“SRL”) waives the minimum acceptance condition of the exchange offer, and declares the exchange offer successful following the tender of 86.3% of the publicly held shares of Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (“SRZ”). In line with legal requirements, an additional acceptance period will be provided from 24 May to 7 June 2011. The SRL shares will start trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange on 23 May 2011 under the ticker symbol SREN.
Zurich - Swiss Re reports loss of USD 665 million for the first quarter 2011
Swiss Re reports a net loss of USD 665 million for the first quarter of 2011, compared to a profit of USD 158 million in the same period of 2010. Property & Casualty was impacted by a very high level of natural catastrophe claims, including the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and the floods in Australia.
New York - Fed rate action commentary from Swiss Re chief US economist
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s chief US Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “Economic activity and employment growth are expected to accelerate in the second half of this year, paving the way for the Fed to raise interest rates early next year.”
Zurich - Shareholders approve all resolutions at 147th Annual General Meeting
At Swiss Re’s Annual General Meeting in Zurich today, the company’s shareholders approved all resolutions put forward by the Board of Directors. Raymund Breu, Mathis Cabiallavetta, Raymond K. F. Ch’ien, Rajna Gibson Brandon and Hans Ulrich Maerki were re-elected to the Board. Furthermore, the shareholders elected Renato Fassbind as a new non-executive, independent member of the Board.
Sao Paulo - Swiss Re, IFC complete capitalization of UBF Seguros; CEO appointed
Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd (Swiss Re) today announced that it has completed its capitalisation of UBF Seguros, S.A. (UBF Seguros), a Brazilian commercial insurer. The transaction was completed in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. Swiss Re is now the majority shareholder of UBF Seguros and the IFC its sole minority investor.
Tokyo - SR International SE Japan Branch receives non-life insurance licence
Swiss Re International SE Japan Branch (SRIJ), a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, today announced it has received a non-life insurance licence from the Financial Services Agency (FSA) and started its operations on 1 April. The newly licensed branch will provide direct insurance to large corporate clients and offer a broad range of property and casualty industry-specific products, backed by the financial strength and expertise of the Swiss Re Group.
Zurich - Sigma study on natural catastrophes and man-made disasters losses 2010
According to Swiss Re’s latest sigma study, worldwide economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 218 billion in 2010, more than triple the 2009 figure of USD 68 billion. The cost to the global insurance industry was more than USD 43 billion, an increase of more than 60% over the previous year. Approximately 304 000 people died in these events, the highest number since 1976.
Zurich - Kyrgyz project wins 2011 International ReSource Award
A project to establish the sustainable management of the Chon-Aksuu River watershed in Central Asia has won the 9th Swiss Re International ReSource Award 2011. The project, submitted by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) will receive prize money of USD 100 000. The award was handed over at Swiss Re's headquarters in Zurich today.
Zurich - Proposals for shareholder approval at next Annual General Meeting
The Swiss Re Board of Directors proposes the approval of a dividend for 2010 of CHF 2.75, an increase of 175% compared to 2009, reflecting Swiss Re's improved capital base and profitability. The Board of Directors also recommends Renato Fassbind be elected to the Board for a three-year term. Shareholders will be invited to vote on these and other proposals at the 147th Ordinary General Meeting to be held on Friday, 15 April 2011, in Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich - Swiss Re estimates its claims costs from Japan earthquake and tsunami
Swiss Re estimates claims costs of USD 1.2 billion, net of retrocession and before tax, from the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan. These estimates are subject to a high degree of uncertainty as the event continues to unfold, making loss assessment particularly challenging.
Zurich - Swiss Re provides provisional estimate of Christchurch claims cost
Swiss Re today announced that, based on current information, it provisionally estimates its claims cost from the earthquake in New Zealand on 22 February 2011 to be approximately USD 800 million, net of retrocession and before tax. The total insured claims for the insurance sector for the earthquake in New Zealand are estimated to be between USD 6 billion to USD 12 billion.
Zurich - Swiss Re obtains USD 305m in natcat protection
Swiss Re has obtained another USD 305 million in protection through the Successor X Ltd. ("Successor X") catastrophe bond programme, covering North Atlantic hurricane and California earthquake risks. The transaction is the fourth time that Swiss Re has used the Successor X programme to transfer specific risks into the capital markets, freeing up capacity to allow the company to take on more risks from clients.
Swiss Re reports strong results for 2010, reflecting the sustained earnings power of its business and the strength of its client franchise. The company achieved full-year net income of USD 863 million and earnings per share of USD 2.52. Swiss Re plans to establish a new corporate structure under a newly-formed holding company, increasing its client focus, improving the transparency and accountability of its businesses, and creating greater flexibility.
Zurich - Public-private solutions for disaster risk relief
Public-private partnership solutions can substantially ease the financial burden natural disasters put on government budgets. The economic costs of natural catastrophes have risen from an average USD 25 billion per annum in the 1980s to USD 130 billion in the 2000s. With climate change unfolding, catastrophic events such as hurricanes, floods and droughts are likely to increase further, hitting in particular emerging markets and developing countries.
New York - Fed rate action commentary from Swiss Re chief US economist
After today’s decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Re’s chief US Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: “Though economic activity has picked up, the unemployment rate will be elevated throughout 2011, so the Fed will be on hold this year and re-evaluate its near-zero interest rate policy early next year.
Hong Kong - Global insurance industry led by double-digit growth in emerging Asia
Swiss Re’s economist predicts sustained strong growth in Asia's insurance industry in 2011, with emerging markets continuing to outpace mature markets. Life and non-life insurance premiums in emerging Asia grew strongly by 16.8% and 17.3% respectively, in real terms in 2010, with significant contribution in particular from China. Such strong momentum is expected to continue in 2011; but there are emerging risks to watch out for.
Zurich - Swiss Re places EUR 75 m of French windstorm risk through Green Fields
Swiss Re Capital Markets has successfully structured and placed EUR 75 million of notes issued by Green Fields Capital Limited (“Green Fields”) covering French windstorm events. Green Fields is a newly established Irish special purpose company incorporated with limited liability.
Zurich - Swiss Re obtains USD 170m in protection through Successor X cat bond
Swiss Re has obtained another USD 170 million in protection through the Successor X Ltd. catastrophe bond programme, covering Australia earthquake, North Atlantic hurricane and California earthquake risks. The combination of Australia earthquake risk with US peak natural catastrophe risks is a unique structure that provides additional diversification to the ILS market.
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