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Swiss Insurers’ Net Income Rose 49% Last Year on Investments

July 6 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss insurers, including Zurich Financial Services AG and Swiss Life Holding AG, posted a 49 percent increase in profit last year after investment income rose, according to the country’s market regulator.

Total net income climbed to 8.3 billion Swiss francs ($9.88 billion) from 5.57 billion francs in 2009, according to data published today by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The report only includes data from life and general insurers, not reinsurers.

“The higher net income is related to higher investment income as well as improved technical results,” according to Finma spokesman Tobias Lux.

Swiss premiums declined 0.3 percent to 83.7 billion francs last year, the regulator known as Finma said. That compares with an increase of 2.7 percent in global insurance premiums on economic growth in Asia and Brazil, according to Swiss Re, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer.

Total income from investments rose 11 percent to 14.8 billion francs, Finma said. Life insurers invested on average 2 percent in equities while the figure for general insurers was about 3 percent, the regulator said.

The average Swiss Solvency Test ratio among the country’s insurers improved to 192 percent from 184 percent in 2009, Finma said. To pass the solvency test, insurers need a ratio of above 100 percent.

The test was introduced in January and requires insurers to provide a mark-to-market valuation of assets and liabilities that for the first time takes into account their investment portfolios.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

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

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