Zurich Insurance Profit Increases 9% After New China Life Sale

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

Zurich Insurance Group AG, the biggest Swiss insurer, said fourth-quarter profit rose 9% following a gain of about USD 543 million from selling its entire stake in New China Life Insurance Co. to Swiss Re Ltd. Net income increased to USD 1.07 billion from USD 988 million a year earlier, the Zurich-based company said today. That missed the USD 1.26 billion estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. After lowering its profit goal in December, the company signaled it was ready to sell some businesses to bolster earnings growth. The insurer will keep its dividend unchanged at a 12-year high of CHF 17.00 (USD 18.94) a share, after increasing the payout to that level for 2010.

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