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Allianz Unit CEO Sees Brazil Insurance Growing Up to 12% a Year

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Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, said it expects corporate and project underwriting in Brazil to grow as much as 12 percent a year as the country invests in infrastructure and the oil industry expands.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, a unit of Munich-based Allianz known as AGCS that underwrites marine, aviation and corporate risks, sees “significant” growth fueled by Brazil’s expanding infrastructure spending, Chief Executive Officer Axel Theis said in an interview from Rio de Janeiro yesterday. The company is providing reinsurance services to state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, he said.

“Brazil needs to invest significantly into infrastructure because the resources are further inland and they have to be transported to the seaside,” Theis said. “We will see a growing demand for liabilities coverage.”

Seeking to stimulate the economy, the Brazilian government plans to auction concessions for ports, airports and roads this year as the country prepares to host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. AGCS opened offices in Rio and Sao Paulo last month with a staff of 45 after securing a reinsurance license.

The unit is seeking to reduce the share of sales generated by “mature” markets such as the U.S. and Europe to 70 percent in the next five years from 90 percent now by growing in Asia, Africa and South America, Theis said. AGCS wants to increase South American policy sales to more than 350 million euros ($458.4 million) by 2015, half of which would come from Brazil, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto in Rio de Janeiro at jspinetto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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