ZURICH, April 27 (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance has backed away from deal talks in emerging markets as prices hot up, the insurer’s chairman said in a newspaper interview.
“We’re not going to be a part of the increasing competition on price,” Zurich’s chairman and former Deutsche Bank head Josef Ackermann is quoted as saying in Saturday’s edition of Swiss weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft.
“Zurich’s priority is profit growth over volume expansion,” Ackermann said.
Ackermann said Zurich, which according to sources was in the running for Turkish lender Yapi Kredi Bank’s insurance arm in February, remains interested in deals at the right price.
“As has been the case, we would only buy if the target fits our needs, is similar to us in culture, and can fulfill our financial requirements in terms of delivering profit,” Ackermann said.
He didn’t elaborate on which targets Zurich had backed away from in recent months.
Zurich, with the highest dividend yield among Switzerland’s biggest companies, at over 6 percent, reports first-quarter earnings on May 16. (Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Greg Mahlich)