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Uniqa Soars as First-Half Profit Boost, Exposure Reduced

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Uniqa Versicherungen AG soared in Vienna trading after Austria’s second-biggest insurer said its first-half profit rose 67 percent and it cut portfolio of government bonds from peripheral euro nations.

Shares rose 1.9 percent to 9.32 euros at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in the Austrian capital, the biggest climb since July 11.

Net income in the six months through June increased to 57.3 million euros ($72 million) from 34.3 million euros a year earlier, the insurer said in a statement today. Profit from ordinary activities increased 43 percent to 106.5 million euros and recurring premiums rose 0.8 percent to 2.583 billion euros.

Uniqa reduced its portfolio of government bonds from peripheral euro nations by 45 percent to 1.122 billion euros in the first half, it said. That consists mostly of Italian government debt, with Uniqa holding 727 million euros linked to its Italian life insurance business, according to the statement. The company no longer holds any Greek or Portuguese government bonds.

Uniqa, which had a 245.6 million euro net loss last year, carried out a 500 million-euro rights issue in July to rebuild its capital buffers depleted by losses on Greek bonds and by restructuring charges.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Zoe Schneeweiss at

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