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ALLIANZ

Allianz insured missing AirAsia plane

German insurance giant Allianz confirmed on Monday that the firm is the main insurance comapany for AirAsia, the operator a plane that has been missing since Saturday.

Allianz insured missing AirAsia plane
An arrivals board tells customers to "Go to info counter" at Singapore airport Photo: DPA
German insurance giant Allianz confirmed on Monday that the firm is the main insurance comapany for AirAsia, the operator a plane that has been missing since Saturday. 
 
"We can confirm that Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty UK is the lead reinsurer for AirAsia, for aviation hull and liabilty insurance," a spokesperson said in a statement. 
 
"It is much too early to comment on reports of this incident at this stage, except to say that our thoughts and prayer are with all those affected by this missing flight." 
 
Multinational teams searched Monday for any signs of the Airbus 320-200 jet more than a day after  Flight QZ8501 disappeared over the Java Sea with 162 people on board. 
 
BBC reported that recovery crews are now focussing on an area where an oil spill had been spotted by the Indonesian air force, though it was not clear if it had come from the missing plane. 
 
The plan lost contact an hour after take off en route from Surabaya in Indonesia's east Jave to Singapore on Sunday after the crew requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather. 
 
The head of the search and rescue team told the press on Monday that QZ8501 was likely "at the bottom of the sea". 
 
It's means that Allianz could be on the hook for another hefty payout, as the latest disapearance marks the end of a disastrous year for Malsian aviation. 
 
Malaysia Airlies Flight MH370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March with 239 passengers and crew. In July, MH17 was shot down over troubled Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew. 
 
Allianz was also the lead insurer on this planes. 
 
"We stand by to support our clients as fully and quickly as possible, working in conjunction with the insurance broker and our co-reinsurers," Allianz's statement read. 
 
The insurer has already seen a drop in stock prices by 1.4 percent since trading began at 8am on Monday. 
 
AirAsia is the region's biggest low-cost airline and has, until now, had a spotless flying record since its founding in 2001. 

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EARNINGS

Allianz more than doubles net profit in 2012

German insurance giant Allianz said Thursday its net profit more than doubled last year as it shrugged off the worst of the financial crisis.

Allianz more than doubles net profit in 2012
Photo: DPA

Allianz said in a statement that its net profit amounted to €5.169 billion last year, up from €2.545 billion a year earlier. The 2011 figure had been impacted by write downs on Allianz’s holdings in Greek sovereign debt and investments, the insurer explained. But underlying or operating profit also increased, rising by 20.8 percent to €9.5 billion on a 2.7 percent rise in revenues to €106.4 billion.

All divisions achieved double-digit percentage growth in operating profit, Allianz said. In the fourth quarter alone, net profit soared 148 percent to €1.22 billion, operating profit rose by 13.8 percent to €2.275 billion and revenues grew by 3.6 percent to €25.9 billion.

Chief executive Michael Diekmann noted that the numbers exceeded the group’s forecast, which Allianz had already raised last year after a better than expected performance in the first three quarters. “Despite the impact from the storm Sandy, we exceeded our forecast,” Diekmann said.

In January, Allianz had said it took a hit of €455 million from Hurricane Sandy. But overall, insured losses for the industry were significantly lower in 2012 than in the previous year, when record figures were posted due to the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and severe floods in Thailand.

“Our results show how well our business model can handle the various turbulences from the financial crisis,” Diekmann said. Allianz would therefore pay an unchanged dividend of €4.50 per share for 2012, he added.

Looking ahead to the current year, Diekmann said that despite the low interest rate environment and overall global economic uncertainty, “I am confident that again in 2013 Allianz will maintain its profitability.”

“With cautious optimism and assuming that natural catastrophes and capital market turbulence do not exceed expected levels, our operating profit outlook for 2013 is €9.2 billion, plus or minus € 500 million,” Diekmann said.

On the Frankfurt stock exchange, Allianz shares were performing slightly better than the overall market, showing a loss of just 0.77 percent while the blue-chip DAX 30 index was down 1.05 percent.

AFP/mb

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