Swiss Re buys out Barclays insurance policies

5 August 2008

Around 760,000 life insurance, annuities and pension policies in the UK have been taken over by Swiss Re - after a sell-off from Barclays.

The insurer picked up the policies - which encompass approximately $14 billion of invested assets - in a $1.5 billion deal, as it looks to boost its business in Britain.

Under the terms of the acquistion, Swiss Re now takes on the risk of the value of these investments declining - and Barclays makes around $150 million in profit, after tax.

Jacques Aigran, chief executive of Swiss Re, said: "The financial market turbulence continues, but, despite this, we are strongly capitalised and our investment portfolio remains sound."

He added: "The difficult market environment also creates new opportunities…Swiss Re has the execution capability and capital strength to seize these opportunities."

Swiss Re, the biggest reinsurer in the world, recently declared a $500 million profit for the second quarter of 2008.

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