Allianz fills war chest to buy insurance firms

German insurer Allianz has set aside a €1 billion ($1.37 billion) for future acquisitions but will take its time and shop carefully, chief executive Michael Diekmann said on Monday.

Allianz fills war chest to buy insurance firms
Photo: DPA

One of the world’s biggest insurers wants to wait until the effects of new European capital rules for insurance companies, known as Solvency II, have become clearer, Diekmann told the Financial Times.

Allianz is looking meanwhile at property and casualty insurance companies that would help fund the development of its life insurance activities, he said.

“What I would like to do is find cash-producing entities from the P&C side to fund growth on the life side,” Diekmann explained.

“Life needs a lot of capital to fund growth and you need to have a balancing mechanism within the portfolio,” he added.

Allianz has not made any major purchases in years, and in 2008 it sold its loss-making banking division Dresdner Bank to the second biggest German bank, Commerzbank.


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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.