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Swiss Re counts cost of September 11

Swiss Re was hammered by the September 11 attacks


The Swiss reinsurance company, Swiss Re, has announced a loss of SFr165 million, blaming the "negative impact" of the September 11 attacks.

The figure is slightly better than the SFr200 million loss forecast by Zurich-based Swiss Re back in February, but it pales in comparison to the SFr2.96 billion profit registered in 2000.

The loss includes the SFr2.95 billion cost of the September 11 attacks and a reduction in net realised investment gains of SFr1.61 billion.

Swiss Re said that aside from September 11 and the reduction in capital gains, 2001 was a positive year for the group.

"Despite the worst year ever for insured losses, Swiss Re strengthened its position during 2001 and is now well placed to capitalise on improving markets and achieve superior results in the years to come," said Walter B Kielholz, chief executive officer of Swiss Re.

The board of directors is recommending an unchanged dividend of SFr2.50 per share.

Swiss Re holds the largest liability in the consortium of insurers covering the New York's World Trade Center, which was destroyed when two hijacked passenger jets smashed into the twin towers on September 11 last year.

The company is trying to limit its total losses to $3.55 billion (SFr594 billion), but is currently embroiled in a court case in the United States over whether the attacks constitute two separate incidents and claims.


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