China buying strongly into Munich Re

China buying strongly into Munich Re
Photo: DPA
China is buying into the indefatigable German reinsurance giant Munich Re, raising its stake to 3 percent and prompting speculation about its future aims.

Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, is a darling of the investment community because of its strong performance even in the face of big payouts because of the Japan and New Zealand earthquakes.

Now SAFE, an investment subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China has lifted the bank’s stake to 3.04 percent, taking it above the 3 percent threshold at which it is forced to declare its share of the company voting rights, according to news wire Reuters.

It remains unclear, however, whether the Chinese have bigger strategic aims with the share purchases or is simply pursuing financial interests.

Despite the massive natural disasters, the company was already back in the black in the second quarter of this year.

With the buy-up of Munich Re, China is following the example of US investment guru Warren Buffett, who has been massively buying up shared this year. The 80-year-old is now the largest shareholder of Munich Re with 10 percent.

The Local/djw

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