Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Allianz to invest 300-500 mln eur in wind energy in next 5 yrs -

Allianz to invest 300-500 mln eur in wind energy in next 5 yrs - "Allianz to invest 300-500 mln eur in wind energy in next 5 yrs
06.28.2005, 07:15 PM

LONDON (AFX) - Allianz AG said it plans to invest 300-500 mln eur in wind energy over the next five years, through its London-based asset management unit Allianz Specialised Investments.

ASI has so far invested around 200 mln eur in renewable energy, it said.

The German insurance and banking group made the announcement alongside the publication of a report compiled in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund on ways to integrate risks from climate change into its insurance, banking and asset management businesses.

Allianz said it now ranks climate change risks alongside all other risks and plans to address the issue of climate change at a board level.

'Climate change creates significant costs for the financial industry,' said Joachim Faber, Allianz board member and CEO of Allianz Global Investors.

'In the interests of our clients and shareholders we are obligated to take these risks into account when making decisions on insurance, underwriting, investments or lending credit,' he said.

Risks posed by climate change include increased risks of storm and flood damage, as well as heatwaves combined with risks to the water supply.

This has direct implications for the insurance sector, and Allianz said premiums may have to rise in the future to cover the associated risks.

Climate change is increasing the potential for property damage at a rate of 2-4 pct per year, said Andrew Torrance, CEO of the UK-based insurance unit Allianz Cornhill, adding that 2004 saw record weather-related losses of 32 bln eur.

'In some cases this might result in property damage premium rise in some markets as insurers adjust their risk-based insurance cost models to reflect the increasing severity of climate change events'.

Allianz said it sees further business opportunities in emissions trading, investment opportunities in renewable energies, in risk mitigation products such as weather derivatives and eco-upgrade products in insurance.