UPDATE 1-Allianz seeks alternatives to low investment yields

Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:23am EST

* Eyes doubling proportion of investments in alternatives

* To raise property investment to 30 bln eur from 20 in 5 years

* Moves help increase yield in face of low interest rates (Adds detail, background)

FRANKFURT, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Allianz is looking to invest about 10 billion euros ($12.7 billion) in property over the next five years as it seeks to offset low yields from conventional investments.

Europe's biggest insurer has an investment portfolio of 498 billion euros, more than 90 percent of which is invested in fixed-income securities that have seen their yields cut in the wake of the financial crisis.

Allianz would like to invest about 2 billion euros each year in property over the next five years to bring the total to 30 billion, Maximilian Zimmerer, Allianz's board member responsible for the insurer's investment strategy, told a journalist briefing.

Zimmerer said it would be "desirable" to double the proportion that alternative investments like property, corporate loans and private equity play in the insurer's capital investments to 16 percent in the coming years.

"All that would serve to widen the base of our investments while achieving higher yields than are possible on the market now," said Zimmerer, who took over the role of investment chief from Paul Achleitner on June 1.

Zimmerer predicted that insurers would continue to help fill the gap in corporate financing left by banks, who are paring back their activity in the face of stricter risk capital rules.

Allianz is already playing an important role in the shift to renewable energy, such as wind power, although it is not taking on project risk in its investments.

Zimmerer said he expected Allianz to increase its investments in corporate bonds and secured paper like covered bonds, while paring back investments in euro zone sovereigns and senior unsecured bank bonds. ($1 = 0.7867 euros) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Alexander Huebner; Editing by Louise Heavens)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.