Allianz Plans New Share Buyback of Up to EU1 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- Allianz SE plans to buy back as much as 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) of its shares amid an abundance of capital and returns crimped by low interest rates.

Europe’s biggest insurer will buy back as much as 41.5 million shares July 4 to Sept. 30 and cancel all repurchased shares, the company said Monday evening in a statement.

The buyback was anticipated after the annual shareholder’s meeting in May authorized the company to acquire treasury shares for as much as 10 percent of Allianz’s capital stock until May 8, 2023. Allianz, whose shares dropped about 9 percent this year, had to contend with one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons in history last year.

Allianz Chief Executive Officer Oliver Baete in November pledged to carry out a share buyback in the first half of 2018 after announcing the Munich-based firm’s first ever stock-repurchase program a year ago. The insurer remains interested in buying firms in property and casualty and asset management and will return any unused portions of its M&A budget to investors.

Beate expressed caution at the shareholders meeting in May about the company’s outlook, citing volatile financial markets, a strong euro and political and economic uncertainties.

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