Zurich earnings beat estimates despite German writedown

ZURICH Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:57am EST

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ZURICH Feb 14 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance reported a 3 percent rise in 2012 profit on Thursday, as growing profits from its Latin America and Malaysia businesses helped offest large loss reserves on its German business taken in the last two quarters.

The Swiss-based insurer, whose 6.6 percent dividend yield is already the highest among the companies in Switzerland's large cap index, said it would pay a dividend of 17 francs per share for the year, unchanged from 2012.

In October the company said it would take a $550 million hit to third-quarter pretax profit after a review showed its German arm had not set aside enough money to cover claims that could be made years after policies expired. (Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto)

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