Allianz Says Stocks Attractive Even as Markets Rally 20%

Allianz SE (ALV), Europe’s biggest insurer, said equities are a good investment even after the MSCI World Index rallied 20 percent this year, executive board member Maximilian Zimmerer said.

“Equities are fundamentally very attractive,” Zimmerer, 55, who is in charge of investments for Allianz, told reporters in Frankfurt today. “We were more optimistic about equities at the beginning of the year, we expanded the position and actively bought.”

Allianz, which owns Pacific Investment Management Co., is among insurers that saw their investment options narrow as monetary policy makers pushed down bond yields to record lows to stimulate the economy. Insurance companies were Europe’s biggest institutional investors with 8.4 trillion euros ($11.3 trillion) under management in 2012.

German government debt, known as bunds, is expensive given the difference in yield to bonds issued by other European states, Zimmerer said.

Allianz, whose 30 asset management companies oversee 533 billion euros, invested in about 2 billion euros of equities in the first nine months of the year, according to an e-mailed statement by the Munich-based company.

Real estate remains an attractive investment when compared with fixed income, Zimmerer said.

Insurers on the Stoxx Europe 600 Insurance index climbed 24 percent this year, led by Swiss Life Holding AG. (SLHN)

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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