Swiss Re successfully places USD 2.0 billion equivalent of hybrid securities

04 May 2006, Zurich

Swiss Re is on track to complete its external financing for the acquisition of GE Insurance Solutions with the successful placement of USD 2.0 billion equivalent of hybrid capital securities. Swiss Re enjoyed strong support from both European and US fixed-income investors.

Swiss Re today priced its offerings of USD 2.0 billion of hybrid capital securities, comprising a EUR 1.0 billion tranche and a USD750 million tranche of subordinated step-up preferred securities.

Strong demand by institutional fixed-income investors led to attractive pricing conditions: the EUR offering was priced at 1.09% above the 10 year EUR swap rate and the USD tranche at a spread of 1.70% over the 10 year US Treasury yield. The USD offering was Swiss Re's first such transaction targeted towards US institutional investors and as such diversifies the Group's access to the global capital markets.

Both securities will qualify for favourable capital treatment by Swiss Re's regulators as well as the major rating agencies.

Notes to editors

Swiss Re

Swiss Re is one of the world's leading reinsurers and the world's largest life and health reinsurer. The company operates through more than 70 offices in over 30 countries. Swiss Re has been in the reinsurance business since its foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863. Swiss Re offers a wide variety of products to manage capital and risk. Traditional reinsurance products, including a broad range of property and casualty as well as life and health covers and related services, are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re currently has the following ratings: (i) from Standard, Poor's: long-term counterparty credit, financial strength and senior unsecured debt ratings of 'AA (CreditWatch negative)', and a short-term counterparty credit rating of 'A-1+', (ii) from Moody's: insurance financial strength and senior debt ratings of 'Aa2' (on review for possible downgrade), and a short-term rating of 'P-1' and (iii) from A.M. Best: a financial strength rating of A+ (superior) (under review with negative implications).

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe or purchase any of the securities described herein in Switzerland, in the European Economic Area ('EEA'), in the United States or in any other jurisdiction. Any such offer was made solely by means of an offering memorandum in compliance with applicable securities laws. There is no public offering of securities of Swiss Re in the United States. Any securities of Swiss Re offered and sold in the United States will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933 and will not be offered and sold in the United States, except on the basis of applicable exemptions from registration. Any such securities will, subject to exceptions, not be offered in Australia, Canada or Japan or to or for the benefit of any national, resident or citizen of Australia, Canada or Japan.

Cautionary note on forward-looking statements

Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking. These statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to a historical fact or current fact. Forward-looking statements typically are identified by words or phrases such as 'anticipate', 'assume', 'believe', 'continue', 'estimate', 'expect', 'foresee', 'intend', 'may increase' and 'may fluctuate' and similar expressions or by future or conditional verbs such as 'will', 'should', 'would' and 'could'. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause Swiss Re's actual results, performance, achievements or prospects to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or prospects expressed or implied by such statements. Such factors include, among others:

  • the impact of future investments, acquisitions or dispositions, and any delays, unexpected costs or other issues experienced in connection with any such transaction, including the ability to efficiently and effectively integrate the GE Insurance Solutions operations into our own;
  • cyclicality of the reinsurance industry;
  • changes in general economic conditions, particularly in our core markets;
  • uncertainties in estimating reserves;
  • the performance of financial markets;
  • expected changes in our investment results as a result of the changed composition of our investment assets or changes in our investment policy;
  • the frequency, severity and development of insured claim events;
  • acts of terrorism and acts of war;
  • mortality and morbidity experience;
  • policy renewal and lapse rates;
  • changes in rating agency policies or practices;
  • the lowering or withdrawal of one or more of the financial strength or credit ratings of one or more of our subsidiaries;
  • changes in levels of interest rates;
  • political risks in the countries in which we operate or in which we insure risks;
  • extraordinary events affecting our clients, such as bankruptcies and liquidations;
  • risks associated with implementing our business strategies;
  • changes in currency exchange rates;
  • changes in laws and regulations, including changes in accounting standards and taxation requirements; and
  • changes in competitive pressures.

These factors are not exhaustive. We operate in a continually changing environment and new risks emerge continually. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.