GERMANY – Insurance giant Allianz says its corporate pensions business is “very positive” – though its Riester private pension business is showing only moderate growth.

“In state-subsidises retirement provision, our Riester business continued to show only moderate growth and we were able to sign 25,000 new contracts,” the company said.

“At the same time, our business in company pension plans developed very positively.” It said it registered 66,000 contracts in the first quarter, taking its total number of retirement provision contracts to over 200,000.

It said its asset management businesses, which includes Allianz Dresdner Asset Management and PIMCO, recorded an 85 million euro loss in the quarter – following the deduction of acquisition-elated expenses and taxes. Total assets under management fell to 979 billion euros, from 989 billion euros a year earlier. It said it expects its asset management businesses to “stay on track” going forward.

The group as a whole shed 2,233 jobs in the first three months of 2003 – taking its headcount to 179,418.

The Munich-based group posted a first-quarter net loss of 520 million euros – against a 1.9 billion euro profit a year ago. Its Dresdner Bank unit posted a loss of 353 million euros in the first quarter – a 221% rise over the year.