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Generali : eyes real estate boost in U.S. and China

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Assicurazioni Generali, Europe’s third-largest insurer, plans to expand its real estate holdings to about 10 percent of its 330 billion euro ($441 billion) investment portolio.

Italy’s largest insurer said on Friday it was preparing for Solvency II capital rules by maintaining a solid capital base while maintaining its investment strategy in the asset management sector.

“Specifically in the life segment…Generali will be able to offer products providing on the one hand improved performance for policyholders, on the other lower capital absorption,” it said.

Analysts on Thursday welcomed Generali’s revamp of its life insurance operations ahead of the latest EU capital rules.

The EU’s solvency II rules — aimed at a closer alignment of insurers’ capital cushions to the risks on their books — are still being finalised for a Jan. 1, 2013 launch.

In asset management, Generali’s Hong Kong joint venture with China’s Guotai will start operations in early 2011.

In real estate, the aim is to boost this portfolio in the medium term to 30 billion euros, up 24 percent from the level at the end of September, it said.

Source : Reuters