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Allianz's Chief Stays the Course on Profit Forecast

Source: WSJ

Posted on 08 Apr 2011

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Allianz SE's Chief Financial Officer Paul Achleitner said today that he doesn't see any grounds to change its operating-profit guidance for 2011 following the recent earthquakes and subsequent tsunami in Japan.

Mr. Achleitner told a capital markets roundtable: "We are working on getting reliable numbers and hopefully will have them at the AGM on May 4, but at this point in time, we have no reason to change the operating-profit outlook given at our press conference about a month ago."

Allianz, which is Europe's largest primary insurer by premium income and market capitalization, has said it expects an operating profit of €7.5 billion to €8.5 billion ($12.16 billion) for 2011.

Reinsurance peer Munich Re AG recently said its full-year profit target was no longer reachable following a higher-than-budgeted bill for earthquakes, flooding and other natural disasters in the first quarter. Other reinsurers have also cautioned that they may not reach annual profit targets.

Allianz's industrial insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has said it expects claims resulting from the Japan disasters to amount to a maximum of €65 million.

Mr. Achleitner also said Allianz will participate in a significant way in the capital measures announced by Commerzbank AG earlier this week, although it will only participate in the rights issue.

"It is our intention that we take up all the rights that we currently have in the context of the rights issue," Mr. Achleitner said, adding that the substantial investment shows Allianz's support for Commerzbank's capital measures.

Allianz holds a stake of just above 9% in Commerzbank and a silent participation worth €750 million, which it took after the sale of Dresdner Bank to Commerzbank.

Commerzbank said on Wednesday that it plans to raise fresh capital worth about €11 billion so that by June it can start repaying state aid. Allianz will pay the subscription price in cash, and its stake will likely drop somewhat following the measures, probably to 5%-6%, Commerzbank Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing said earlier this week.