Swiss Re to Buy U.K. Life Book from Zurich: WSJ

Swiss Re is set to buy nearly 4 billion pounds ($7.90 billion) worth of U.K. life insurance liabilities from Swiss insurer Zurich Financial, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday. Both Zurich Financial and Swiss Re declined to comment on the story, which said terms of the deal were not known.

Zurich has said it is looking into "different options" for its U.K. life book, which it has closed to new business.

Swiss Re has a special business unit to buy such closed life books, called Admin Re, which makes a profit from continuing premium income from existing contracts and aims to boost profitability through economies of scale.

The newspaper, which did not quote its sources, said the annuity portfolio -- contracts in which an insurer makes regular payments to a client in return for an upfront payment -- had gone through several rounds of bidders.

It said the book in question has 3.7 billion pounds in assets and 3.9 billion pounds of promised payments.