Fourth Quarter Profit Increases Swiss Re Dividend

Swiss-Reinsurance-CoThe second largest reinsurer, Swiss Reinsurance Co. increased its dividend for 2009. This rise was followed by a profit in fourth-quarter after intense losses in securitized products and corporate bond hedges.

Against the record loss of 1.75 billion Francs in fourth-quarter of 2008, net income was 403 million Francs as stated by the Zurich-based company today. This was close to the estimates of 517 million-Franc made by analysts surveys of Bloomberg. After cutting the payout to 10 centimes last year, Swiss Re offered a dividend of 1 Franc a share for 2009.

Chief Executive Stefan Lippe said, "The group believes now is an appropriate time to re-establish targets. Swiss Re aims to achieve a return on equity of 12 percent over the cycle. And this target reflected lower investment returns as the company shifts to lower-risk investments".

Towards the end of 2009, the surplus capital at Swiss Re climbed to 9 billion Francs. In Zurich trading, Swiss Re inserted 24 centimes, to 47 Francs by 9:05 a. m. in turn making the company worth 1.73 billion Francs. Pulling the total reduction for 2009 to 46.5 billion Francs, Swiss Re sliced its assets by 3.2 billion francs, in the fourth quarter.