Swiss Re, Zurich CEOs See Markets Improving as Confidence Grows

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Zurich Insurance Group AG and Swiss Re Ltd., Switzerland’s largest insurer and reinsurer, expect capital markets to improve as investor confidence grows and concerns about Europe’s debt crisis eases.

“Markets are really giving the sign that progress has been made,” Martin Senn, chief executive officer of Zurich Insurance, said in an interview in Davos yesterday after meeting with bankers and policy makers, including Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney.

International investors are the most bullish on stocks in at least 3 1/2 years, with close to two-thirds planning to raise their holdings of equities during the next six months, according to a Bloomberg survey that was published on Jan. 22.

“We appear to have in Europe an environment that gives a certain confidence that the worst of the crisis is over,” Michel Lies, CEO of Swiss Re said in an interview with CNBC. “Any kind of stability in the financial markets is good for us.”

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein said today the worst of the financial crisis may have passed.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at