Axa Raises Dividend Target as Insurer Has `Robust' Solvency

Axa SA, France’s largest insurer, will pay higher dividends to shareholders thanks to “robust” capital levels under solvency rules coming into effect in January. The shares rose.

Axa plans to pay out 45 percent to 55 percent of its adjusted earnings, compared with 40 percent to 50 percent previously, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Axa expects Solvency II to give the firm about 500 million euros ($545 million) of additional annual cash flows from new business at its life and savings unit, the company said at an investor day in London.

“We have defined a clear capital-management framework,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer Denis Duverne said in the statement. Axa is “confident of providing attractive dividends to our shareholders and continuing to invest in business growth opportunities and digital transformation initiatives in the future.”

Axa’s Solvency II ratio stood at 212 percent at the end of September and the insurer has a new target range of between 170 percent and 230 percent, the Paris-based firm said.

Axa climbed as much as 5 percent to 25.69 euros in Paris., the third-biggest gain among shares in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which was little changed.

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