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Ace Counts on Mexico as Greenberg Sees Brazil Slowing

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- Evan Greenberg, the chief executive officer of Ace Ltd., said the insurer is looking beyond Latin America’s largest economy as he seeks growth in the region.

“It’s obviously slowed down a lot in Brazil,” Greenberg said today in a conference call held by the Zurich-based insurer. “But we’ve got Mexico, Colombia, Chile, the Andean countries, and they’re doing quite well.”

Greenberg has been expanding Ace in emerging markets through acquisitions as he seeks growth beyond the U.S. and Europe. He completed a deal in May to buy a Mexican property-casualty carrier from Ally Financial Inc. for $865 million and announced an agreement last year to buy Fianzas Monterrey in Mexico from New York Life Insurance Co. for $285 million.

Economic growth is projected to be 2.5 percent this year in Brazil and 3.2 percent in 2014, down from more than 7 percent in 2010, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. That compares with estimates of 2.9 percent for Mexico this year and 4 percent in 2014.

“At any one time, any one country or two countries can slow down and that will have some impact on us,” Greenberg said.

Ace slipped 1.1 percent to $92.23 at 10:57 a.m. in New York. Greenberg’s firm has advanced 16 percent this year, compared with the 17 percent gain in the 78-company Bloomberg World Insurance Index.

The insurer said yesterday that second-quarter net income was $891 million, more than twice as much as the same period in 2012 when results included investment losses of $415 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan Hickey in New York at Mhickey18@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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