Financial risks

Life Segment Non life and financial segment

The analysis of market risks indicated within the IFRS 7 framework, in relation to price changes of financial instruments, is included in the broader context of financial risks defined in the Group Risk Map.

Financial risks include equity risk, interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, real estate and concentration risk. Equity risk arises from unexpected movements in stock prices and also includes changes in equity volatility. Interest rate risk derives from unexpected changes in interest rates and also takes in account interest rate volatility. In addition, risks related to changes in property values, exchange rates and finally, concentration risk are considered.

Unexpected movements of interest rates, equities, real estate and exchange rates can negatively impact the economic, financial and capital position of the Group, both in terms of value and solvency.

Assets subject to market movements are invested to profitably employ the capital subscribed by shareholders and to meet
contractual obligations to policyholders; consequently, financial market movements imply a change both in the value of investment and insurance liabilities. Therefore, oversight through analysis of the impact of adverse market movements implies an adequate consideration of volatility, correlations among risks and the effects on the economic value of the related insurance liabilities.
Within the processes of investment management, Group companies are required to apply the Group Risk Guidelines.

At year-end 2013 the investments whose market risk affects the Group were of € 325 billion at market value(3)

  31.12.2013
31.12.2012
(€ million) Total fair value Impact (%) Total fair value Impact (%)
Equity instruments 17,740 5.5 15,652 4.9
Direct Equity exposure 11,111
  9,123
 
IFU and alternative investments 6,629
  6,528
 
Fixed income instruments 284,346 87.4 280,542 87.7
Government bonds 140,339
  138,760
 
Corporate bonds 113,541
  110,108
 
Loans (oth. fixed income investments) 17,102
  22,506
 
IFU bonds 13,364
  9,167
 
Land and buildings 23,409 7.2 23,850 7.5
RE Investment properties 17,910
  18,209
 
Self-used real estates 3,370
  3,477
 
IFU real estates 2,128
  2,165
 
Total 325,495
100.0 320,043
100.0

The exposure to fixed income instruments, expressed as percentage of investments bearing market risks, as defined above, was quite stable at 87.4% (87.7% as at 31 December 2012) while the exposure to equity instruments increased to 5.5% (4.9% as at 31 December 2012). A slight decrease was observed for real estate investments whose weight moved from 7.5% at 31 December 2012 to 7.2%.

As mentioned above, the economic impact of changes in interest rate, equity values and the related volatilities for the shareholders will depend not only on the sensitivity of the assets to these shifts but also on how the same movements affect the present values of its insurance liabilities, which may absorb a portion of risk.

In life business this absorption is generally based on the level and structure of minimum return guarantees and profit sharing arrangements. The impact of the minimum guaranteed rates of return on solvency, both on the short and long terms, is assessed through deterministic and stochastic analysis. These analyses are performed at company and, if necessary, at single portfolio level and take into account the interaction between assets and liabilities helping to develop product strategies and strategic asset allocations aiming at optimising the risk/return profile.

In order to control the Group exposure towards the financial markets, while maintaining a perspective of risk/return, the
management adopts procedures and actions on the single portfolios including:

  • credit and tactical asset allocation guidelines are being updated to the changing market conditions and to the ability of the Group to assume financial risks;
  • matching strategies, at net cash flow level or duration matching strategies, for the management of the interest rate risk;
  • dynamic hedging strategies through the use of derivatives instruments as options, swaps, forwards and futures;
  • portfolio and pricing management rules, coherent with sustainable guarantee level.

The Group uses a data warehouse to collect and consolidate the financial investments, which guarantees a homogeneous, time effective and high quality analysis of the financial risks.

The currency risk arising from the recent issuance of subordinated debts in British pound sterling has been mitigated with a specific hedging strategy.

(3)Investments whose market risk affects the Group are total investments excluded investments back to policies where the investment risk is borne by the policyholders, investments in subsidiaries, associated companies and joint ventures, derivatives, mortgage loans, receivables from banks or customers and other residual financial investments different than equities and or loans as well as land and buildings used by third parties and cash and cash equivalents. Instead, self used properties are included.

Group’s exposures to investments in equities - detailed by sector and country of risk of investees - as well as to direct real estate investments - detailed by country of location - are reported at fair values in the following tables:

Breakdown of equity investments by sector of location
  31.12.2013
(€ million)Total fair value Impact (%)
Equity instruments 17,740  
Financial 3,877
21.9
Consumer 1,730
9.8
Utilities 859 4.8
Industrial 1,365
7.7
Other 3,280
18.5
Alternative funds 1,898
10.7
Asset allocation funds 4,732
26.7

The total exposure to equity instruments at the end of the period amounted to € 17,740 million. With reference to the composition of direct equity investments the main sectors the Group is exposed are financial (21.9%), consumer (9.8%) and industrial (7.7%).

Breakdown of direct equity investments by country of risk
 31.12.2012
(€ million)
Totale fair
value
Impact
(%)
 Direct equity investments  11.111   
 Italy  3,429   30.9 
 France
 2,626   23.6 
 Germany  1,220   11.0 
 Central and Eastern Europe  124   1.1 
 Rest of Europe 
 3,035   27.3 
Spain  405   3.6 
Austria   190   1.7 
Switzerland  426   3.8 
The Netherlands  733   6.6 
United Kingdom  408   3.7 
Others  873   7.9 
 Rest of world  677   6.1 

The direct equity exposure totalled € 11.111 million, principally invested in Italy (30.9%), France (23.6%) and Germany (11.0%).

Breakdown of direct real estate investments by country of location
  31.12.2012   31.12.2012  
  Investment properties 
Self-used real estates 
(€ million) Total fair value Impact (%) Total fair value Impact (%)
Direct Real-estate investments 17,910   3,370  
Italy 6,361
35.5 1,411
41.9
France 5,096
28.5
423 12.9
German 2,551
14.2
687 20.4
Central and Eastern Europe 246
1.4
88 2.6
Rest of Europe 3,449 19.3
672 19.9
Spain 703
3.9
109 3.2
Austria 1,258
7.0
130 3.9
Switzerland 901 5.0 401 13.9
Others590
3.3 32 0.9
Rest of world
206
1.1 90 2.7

The direct exposure to Real estate investments was of € 21,281 of which € 17,910 million of investment properties and € 3,370 of properties with self-used destination. Real estate investments were mainly focused in western European countries, mainly in Italy (36.5%), France (25.9%) and Germany (15.2%).

Life Segment

Taking into consideration the specific characteristics of the Life business, the impact of negative changes in the financial market conditions has to be assessed both on assets and liabilities. As allowed by IFRS 4, this impact is here represented as percentage change of Group’s Embedded Value4.

Embedded Value is an actuarially determined estimate of the Group value, net of any value attributable to future new business.

With reference to the covered business at the date of valuation, and to the relevant consolidation perimeter (i.e. the operating life, health and pension companies of the group), the EV is equal to the sum of the Adjusted Net Asset Value (ANAV), and the Value In- Force (VIF):

  • the Adjusted Net Asset Value corresponds to the market value of the consolidated shareholders’ funds, net of goodwill and DAC, and before the payment of dividends from profits in the year;
  • the Value In-Force corresponds to the present value of the projected stream of after-tax industrial profits generated by the business in force at the valuation date. This value takes into account the cost of financial guarantees related to theoptions, embedded in insurance contracts, and less the frictional costs of holding the capital and the cost of non-financial risks.

Regarding the market risk the Group performs the following sensitivities on its Embedded Value, according to the parameters indicated by the CFO Forum:

  • Yield curve +1%: sensitivity to an upward parallel shift of 100 basis points in the underlying market risk free rates, accompanied by an upward shift in all economic assumptions;
  • Yield curve -1%: sensitivity to a downward parallel shift of 100 basis points in the underlying market risk free rates, accompanied by a downward shift in all economic assumptions;
  • Equity value -10%: sensitivity to a 10% market value simultaneous reduction at valuation date for equity investments;
  • Property value -10%: sensitivity to a 10% market value simultaneous reduction at valuation date for property investments.

The changes in embedded value (%) at 31 December 2013 and 31 December 2012 are reported in the table below.

(4) Generali Group publishes annually also a separate Embedded Value report for life segment.

Life embedded value sensitivities: Market Risks
(%) 31.12.2013 31.12.2012
Interest rate +1% 2.9 -8.4
Interest rate -1% -6.4 -15.3
Equity price +10% -3.1 -4.1
Equity price -10% -3.0 -2.8

When analyzing the data from a general point of view, if it is evident that the decrease in equity and real estate prices has a
negative impact on the shareholders’ value, must be noted that a shift in risk free rates might have both positive and negative effects, driven by the insurance portfolio structure and by the assets and liabilities mismatch in terms of cash flow.

Similarly to the previous year, data at 31 December 2013 showed that the Company suffered from the effects of the decreaseing interest rates. The impact is also higher than the increase corresponding to the opposite risk free variation. This asymmetry, even if lesser than last year due to the improved market environment at year end, is explained by the presence of financial guarantees and options granted to policyholders, whose costs, taking into consideration the current level of interest rates, increase significantly in respect of a further reduction.up.png

Non-life and financial segment

According to the requirements of IFRS 7, the impact on the non-life and financial segment of possible changes in interest rates and values of the equity instruments is represented by the impact on the result of the period and on the shareholder’s equity of the Group, net of the corresponding tax effects.

Market risk evaluation has been performed, for both non-life and financial segments, following a bottom up approach and using a full evaluation model which calculates the change in value of each financial instrument caused by applied stress tests (+/- 100bp yield curve change, +/- 10% change for equity).

The market risk evaluation was done on all the financial instruments in the portfolios at the end of the year, both from direct and indirect investments held by funds, and derivatives instruments.

Valuation of impact on Group’s financial statements deriving from possible changes in interest rate was assessed both considering instrument with fixed interest rate (exposing Group to “fair value” risk with impact on equity or result depending on their accounting classification) and with floating interest rate (exposing Group to “cash flow” risk with impact on profit or loss). This impact was assessed considering the 12 month period ending at the reporting date.

The stress test of +/- 100bp on the yield curve and of +/-10% of equity value changes shows:

  • potential impact on the Group shareholders' equity attributable to the consequent change in the fair value of bonds and equities classified as available for sale5,
  • potential impact on the Group's result of the period attributable to the consequent change in the fair value of debt securities and equities classified as financial assets at fair value through profit or loss,
  • a potential impact on the Group's result of the period related to the re-computation on coupon and accrued interest of floating rate securities.

Changes in interest rates and equity prices, net of the related deferred taxes, may have a potential impact on shareholders’ equity.
The impact is detailed in the table here below. With regard to the sensitivity on the result of the period, it is not material and therefore considered within the impact on shareholders’ equity.

(5) In the sensitivity analysis is assumed not to reach the defined impairment triggers.

Sensitivity on non-life and financial Shareholders’equity
(€ million)
31.12.2013 31.12.2012
Interest rate +1%
-651 -546
Interest rate -1%
684 528
Equity price +10%
308 209
Equity price -10%
-312 -211
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Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. - C.F. e P.IVA 00079760328