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Swiss Re May Buy Further $5 Billion of Corporate Bonds, CFO Says

Swiss Re Ltd. Chief Financial Officer George Quinn said the world’s second-biggest reinsurer may invest another $5 billion in corporate debt and infrastructure this year as it shifts away from low-yielding government bonds.

Swiss Re shifted $1.7 billion into corporate and securitized credit and infrastructure in the first quarter, said Quinn, adding that it doesn’t make sense for the Zurich-based company to wait for interest rates to rise. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has stoked expectations that officials will deliver an interest rate cut today.

“We expect to continue the move toward credit in the coming quarters,” Quinn said in a phone interview today. “If we do the same every quarter, we’re talking about another $5 billion or so in credit, which is another 3 percent to 4 percent shift in asset allocation in the remainder of this year away from government bonds and cash to credit.”

Swiss Re in February reported $1.53 billion in realized gains after selling government bonds last year. The reinsurer could add to its $500 million investment in infrastructure debt announced in November and may “slightly” raise its equity holdings, Quinn said.

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