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Allianz Annual Report 2013

6 It was a difficult year for all regions of the world, with growth hampered by the need for structural adjustments, the fiscal consolidation in the Eurozone, the fiscal gridlock in the United States and sizeable political risks – especially in the Middle East. As a result, global economic growth in 2013 was even slightly lower than in the previous year. While central banks have supported growth by making an almost unlimited supply of liquidity available, the impact of persistently low interest rate levels represents a challenge for all savers and, in turn, for us as an insurer. In addition, severe hail, storms and floods in 2013 had an adverse effect on our results, in particular in Germany and Eastern Europe. Even so, we succeeded in making positive headlines for the second year in a row. The Property-Casualty business posted an increase in operating profit of 14.2 %, despite considerable losses from natural catastrophes. We were more than able to make up for these losses with a big improvement at our U.S. Property-Casualty subsidiary Fireman’s Fund and an excellent contri­- bution to operating profit from ­Allianz Italy. Meanwhile, our Life/Health revenues grew by 8.5 %, supported by strong growth in particular in Germany and Italy, despite the general uncertainty among clients caused by the low interest rate environment, while operating profit declined by 8.0 % from the high level in the previous year. In Germany, we launched a new life insurance product in 2013 with separate guarantees in the savings and payout phases, which results in much less stringent capital adequacy requirements. In return, the client can expect higher returns. This innovation met with a good response in the market. The Asset Management business managed to post a record operating profit in 2013, with growth of 7.0 % despite a challenging environment in the second half. Our asset manager Pimco recorded outflows of funds

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