) -- After reporting greater first-quarter profit Thursday, Swiss reinsurer
said looking ahead one of its top goals is to repay
for the $3 billion extended to the reinsurer after the company's write-downs and losses of more than $8 billion in 2008.
Swiss Re said it expects to redeem Buffet and Berkshire with slightly under $3.5 billion, as its excess capital rose to over $12 billion in the first quarter vs. $9 billion in the earlier quarter. It will aim for share buybacks after the repayment. The company is currently working towards re-attaining an AA credit rating.
Swiss Re reported net income of $158 million, or 46 cents a share, for the first quarter, compared with $130 million, or 39 cents a share, in the same period last year. During the quarter, Swiss Re's property & casualty unit was affected by high natural catastrophe losses mainly from the earthquake in Chile and European winter storm Xynthia.
The company expects recent large losses to increase risk awareness and create a stabilizing influence on pricing. Swiss Re provisionally estimates its loss from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to be $200 million before tax.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
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