ZURICH Insurer Swiss Life SLHN.VX is unlikely to become the target of a takeover bid, particularly by its German rival Allianz (ALVG.DE), Chief Executive Bruno Pfister said on Sunday.
"The idea Swiss Life could be taken over by Allianz is totally unfounded," Pfister told Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung in an interview.
Rumors the life insurer could become a target surface regularly but Pfister said this scenario was unlikely given Swiss Life's involvement in politically controlled businesses and the risks generally attached to a bid.
He said Swiss Life wanted to develop independently although independence was not in itself a strategy. "If we failed to realize our projects in the mid and long term, the board would consider a sale. It would have to."
Swiss Life on Tuesday posted a 10 percent drop in first-quarter premium income as revenues from tax-efficient insurance policies to wealthy individuals plummeted.
In the interview with SonntagsZeitung Pfister also criticized tougher new capital rules for Swiss insurers introduced at the beginning of 2011.
He said Swiss Life met the new requirements, the so-called Swiss Solvency Test, but he did not see any reason why Swiss rules should be stricter than the ones in Europe.
The EU's tougher new Solvency II rules will come into effect in 2013.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Hans Peters)