Zurich Insurance says on track for $500 mln cost cuts

ZURICH Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:27am EST

ZURICH Nov 29 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance Group said on Thursday it is on track to reduce costs in mature markets by $500 million, with significant additional efficiencies identified in addition to the $200 million of cost cuts already made.

The company said it was confident of being able to maintain an attractive and sustainable dividend, and reiterated its business operating profit after tax return on equity target of 16 percent, though it said in the current tough environment returns could be reduced by two percentage points.

Zurich has the highest dividend yield among the stocks in the Swiss large cap index, with a payout of 7.4 percent against Swisscom's 5.7 percent and 4.5 percent for Swiss Re. (Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto)

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