In a macroeconomic and financial context characterised by low interest rates, high uncertainty on financial markets and an ever-changing regulatory scenario, the group will focus on the initiatives of the Technical Excellence programme and cost savings.
SOME DATA ON THE OUTLOOK FOR 2018
- Rates: within a solid growth and slightly higher inflation forecast, in the Eurozone, investors are looking forward to the first increase in the interest rates by the ECB in 2019, while in US the Fed is expected to follow its “normalization” path increasing its reference rate three times.
- Equity markets: the current favourable economic situation, the US tax reform and the still extensive level of liquidity should foster the continued growth trend, although markets are already somewhat overvalued.
- Insurance market, non-life insurance segment: growth will continue thanks to the positive economic trends, though within a competitive sector, also from the distribution perspective as a consequence of the ongoing digital transformation.
- Insurance market, life segment: the unfavorable situation within a still low-interest rate environment could though be accompanied by few positive signs thanks to the expected positive trend in available income.
- Reinsurance: the anomalous frequency of major catastrophic events in the second half of 2017 which affected in particular the Caribbean and the United States should be noted.
FORESEEABLE EVOLUTION OF MANAGEMENT
- Life segment: while continuedly facing regulatory constraints within a still low-interest rate financial scenario, the Group is rebalancing the portfolio, based on optimized profitability and a more efficient capital allocation, as well as implementing initiatives aimed at strengthening the brand.
- Non-life segment: within a competitive segment, the Group is intensifying initiatives to offset impacts on profitability with anticyclical measures and a disciplined approach to pricing and risk selection, in line with the strategy to achieve the best combined ratio among peers.
- Investments: our investment policy will continue to be based on an asset allocation to consolidate current profitability and ensure consistency with the liabilities towards policyholders.
These initiatives will enable the Group to offset the prolonged low-interest rate scenario while encouraging growth and confirm the objectives of the 2015-2018 strategic plan.