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(Reuters) — Swiss Re Ltd. is looking at buying a stake in China Pacific Insurance Co. via a primary offering of the Chinese company’s securities, the Swiss reinsurer said Wednesday.
Swiss Re declined to comment on a separate report that China Pacific was planning to take a stake in the Zurich-based company, but said it was not planning to issue shares or make treasury shares available to any potential investor.
China Pacific said in September it was planning to issue global depository receipts on the London Stock Exchange, potentially opening opportunities for international investors.
“No definitive agreement has been entered into between Swiss Re and CPIC. Any securities offering by CPIC remains subject to various contingencies, including CPIC’s decision to proceed with any such offering,” Swiss Re said in a statement.
“Separately, Swiss Re has no current intention of issuing new shares or making treasury shares available to any potential investor,” the Zurich-based company added.
Late last month, Swiss Re shelved a second tranche of share buybacks due to big claims from natural and man-made catastrophes, but said its capital position remained strong enough to pursue growth opportunities.
Reinsurer Swiss Re Ltd. has ceded around 4% more of its catastrophe exposure to retrocession sources compared with 2018, Artemis reported. Swiss Re's natural catastrophe risk exposure increased by around 30% during the year, across the core perils of U.S. and Atlantic hurricane, California earthquakes, European windstorm risk and Japanese quake. California quake exposure is up nearly 52%, Japanese quake 7% and European windstorm 9%.