And also this week ...

Munich Re in buy-back

Munich Re’s suspended share buy-back programme is back on and the reinsurer is to begin buying back shares for a total purchase price of up to E1bn by its annual general meeting on 28 April 2010. The purchase is expected to amount to around 9.2 million shares, or 4.7% of the share capital. The repurchased shares will then be retired. Munich Re board chairman Nikolaus von Bomhard said: “We’re keeping our word and resuming our share buy-back programme after a seven-month break. In our view, the economic environment has stabilised sufficiently. We are returning unneeded capital to our share-holders.”

CBI reveals profit growth

Profits in the general insurance sector have grown unexpectedly in the past three months, as business volumes and income values rose and costs fell, says a survey from the Confederation of British Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report says that, for the fourth quarter in a row, sentiment was more positive than three months earlier. Volumes are expected to level off in the next quarter, while incomes dip. Profitability is expected to fall and job losses to accelerate. Broker business continued to fall in the past quarter, led by lower business with private individuals.