* Swiss Re reaffirms 2016 targets
* CFO says growing regular dividend among highest priorities
* Reinsurer holds investor day (Adds detail on 2016 targets, share performance)
ZURICH, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Swiss Re on Tuesday reaffirmed its financial targets for 2016 and said increasing shareholder payouts was a key priority.
Zurich-based Swiss Re has said it is targeting a 700 basis points return on equity above risk-free 10-year U.S. government bonds and aims to grow economic net worth per share by 10 percent each year.
“Maintaining a strong capital position and growing the regular dividend with long-term earnings are still our highest priorities,” Chief Financial Officer David Cole said in a statement ahead of a meeting with investors.
“This is followed by the deployment of capital for business growth where it meets our profitability requirements. Finally we are committed to additional capital repatriation to shareholders, where appropriate.”
Reinsurers like Swiss Re, Munich Re and Hannover Re act as a financial backstop for insurance companies, helping them pay for large damage claims from hurricanes or earthquakes in exchange for part of the premiums.
In October, Swiss Re posted an unexpected rise in third-quarter net profit with earnings boosted by the release of cash that had been set aside for insurance policies and low payouts for natural disasters.
Shares in Swiss Re are up 17.5 percent in 2015 compared to a 16 percent rise in the STOXX Europe 600 Insurance index. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)