Talanx considers winding down life insurance operation
FRANKFURT Oct 1 (Reuters) - German insurer Talanx is considering winding down its life insurance arm HDI Lebensversicherung, the group's chief executive has told daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Like many life companies, HDI Lebensversicherung has seen investment returns hit by low interest rates. An industry survey last month showed that life insurance is becoming an unviable business in Europe, with many companies forced to compensate for low rates with higher-risk investments or moves overseas.
The options for HDI include a freeze on new business and the phasing out of existing contracts, CEO Herbert Haas told the newspaper. Existing contracts could also be sold to a specialist company that would wind them down, he said.
For now, however, the focus is on cutting costs and improving capital investment returns at HDI Lebensversicherung, Haas was quoted as saying.
HDI Lebensversicherung had gross written premiums of 2.36 billion euros ($3.19 billion) in 2012. ($1 = 0.7387 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Goodman)
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