At Swiss Re’s upcoming Annual General Meeting of shareholders (AGM) on 17 April 2019, the Board of Directors proposes a higher regular dividend of CHF 5.60 per share. In addition, the Board of Directors requests the authorization of a new public share buy-back program for cancellation purposes consisting of two tranches of each up to CHF 1 billion purchase value. Swiss Re today also publishes its 2018 Annual Report, which includes information on its EVM 2018 results, and the 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Consistent with the established capital management priorities, Swiss Re plans to continue to return excess capital to shareholders. As the Group’s capital position remains very strong with a 2019 Group SST ratio of 251%, comfortably above the target level and combined with the Group’s sustained capital generation, Swiss Re’s Board of Directors will propose a 12% increase in the dividend to CHF 5.60 per share in 2018. The dividend will be paid after shareholder approval at Swiss Re’s upcoming AGM on 17 April 2019.
The Board of Directors will also propose to the AGM a public share buy-back program, to be executed prior to the 2020 AGM and subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. The first tranche of up to CHF 1.0 billion (purchase value) would commence at the discretion of the Board shortly after the 2019 AGM approval. The second tranche of up to CHF 1.0 billion (purchase value) would be launched at the discretion of the Board, and will be conditional on the 2019 development of the Group’s excess capital position, for example a significant increase as a result of the successful reduction of Swiss Re’s holding in ReAssure to below 50%. If a new public share buy-back program is launched, the Board of Directors will thereafter at a subsequent AGM propose the cancellation of the repurchased shares by way of share capital reduction.
Swiss Re’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Walter B. Kielholz, says: “We are living in uncertain times and events on the world stage are increasingly providing cause for concern. However, I believe we are very well prepared for these challenges and we are looking to the future with confidence. Our strong long-term economic earnings create the basis for our capital generation and dividend capacity. Since 2013, we have already paid back USD 14.5 billion to our shareholders via share buy-backs and dividends; which will increase to USD 17.2 billion if the proposed dividend and first tranche of the new share buy-back are accepted and executed.“