Berkshire Hathaway Buys 3% of Swiss Re

Swiss Re said on Wednesday it would increase its share buyback programme after it signed a reinsurance contract with Berkshire Hathaway, which also bought 3 percent of its shares.

Under the contract, Berkshire , owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, will take a 20 percent share of all Swiss Re's property and casualty business for the next five years, leading to a reduction in Swiss Re's capital deployed.

"As a result, Swiss Re intends, in addition to its previously announced buyback programme, to acquire its own shares in the market for general treasury purposes up to a total value of 1.75 billion Swiss francs ($1.59 billion)," the group said.

The total buyback programme, including shares already repurchased, would now be up to 7.75 billion francs, the company said.

Berkshire Hathaway has substantial insurance operations.