Swiss Re obtains USD 150 million of natural catastrophe protection through Vega capital programme

30 June 2008, Zurich

Swiss Re has obtained USD 150 million protection against North Atlantic hurricane, European windstorm, Californian earthquake, Japanese earthquake and Japanese typhoon through a natural catastrophe protection programme named Vega Capital Ltd ('Vega').

Vega is the latest natural catastrophe securitisation to be sponsored by Swiss Re and the first natural catastrophe securitisation to use a cash reserve account to enhance protection to noteholders. Vega protects Swiss Re on both a multi-event and multi-peril basis, and affirms Swiss Re's leading role in product innovation in the insurance-linked securities sector.

Four classes of notes were issued and ranked in order of seniority. Vega provides transparency to investors by utilising index- and modelled loss-based triggers with fixed risk profiles. Investors can choose between different risk layers while achieving diversification across five natural catastrophe risks.

Brian Gray, Swiss Re's Head of Property and Specialty Products division comments: "Vega represents a positive evolution in the structure of cat bond programmes for Swiss Re. It provides us with protection for low-layer earnings volatility for our peak natural catastrophe perils, over multiple events."

Vega is a shelf-offering programme that allows issuance of securities at any time. The private placement closed on 27 June 2008 and involved USD 150 million of principal at-risk variable rate notes which have been purchased by a variety of institutional investors according to Rule 144A. This private placement was structured and underwritten by Swiss Re Capital Markets.

Note to editors

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd

Swiss Re is a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer. The company operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re offers financial services products that enable risk-taking essential to enterprise and progress. The company's traditional reinsurance products and related services for property and casualty, as well as the life and health business are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated "AA-" by Standard, Poor's, "Aa2" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best.

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  • extraordinary events affecting Swiss Re's clients and other counterparties, such as bankruptcies, liquidations and other credit-related events;
  • risks associated with implementing Swiss Re's business strategies;
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