Allianz may sell stocks and buy bonds or real estate to bolster capital

Allianz AG, EuropeÂ's biggest insurer, may sell stocks and buy bonds or real estate to avoid having to tap investors for money as the value of its investments decline, said board member Helmut Perlet.

European insurers including Aegon NV of the Netherlands and Zurich Financial Services AG are lining up to ask shareholders for more than 10 billion euros ($9.8 billion) to bolster capital and avoid having their credit ratings cut. Allianz has said it has no plans to seek cash from existing investors in a rights offer.

Perlet wasnÂ't specific about which bonds or real estate the company may purchase. Historically, such assets have yielded lower returns than stocks.

Drop in Stockholdings
AllianzÂ's share holdings have fallen to less than 20 percent of its overall investments in recent weeks from about 23 percent as stocks tumbled, Perlet said. The insurer, which ranks among GermanyÂ's biggest investors, still has more than 66 billion euros in publicly traded companies.

The drop in stock prices hasnÂ't changed AllianzÂ's goal to sell holdings tied up in German companies such as a 10.9 percent stake in BASF AG and 43.6 percent of Beiersdorf AG, Perlet said.

(source: Bloomberg)

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