GERMANY - Insurer Allianz says it has a market share of 20% in Germany’s state-funded pension market – although take-up by private individuals remains “slow”.

“Allianz Leben has taken the leading position in Germany in sales of state-subsidized fully-funded retirement provision with a market share of 20%,” said Munich-based Allianz in its third-quarter earnings statement.

“While the take-up of private provision remains slow, business has shown very gratifying development in corporate provision,” the statement added. It stated that it set up or expanded corporate pension provision programs for more than 5,000 employers and concluded more than 130,000 retirement pension contracts with employees in the first nine months of the fiscal year.

But assets under management were badly hit by falling markets. Its assets under management fell 10.6% - 124 billion euros - to 1,048 billion euros as of September 30. “The Group's own investments fell back by 14.6% or 77 billion euros to 450 billion euros as a result of significant share price declines on equity markets,” Allianz added.

Overall, the Munich-based company said it made a loss of 2.5 billion euros in the third quarter, against a net loss of 46 million euros a year before.

The beleaguered firm said it was unable to provide a reliable forecast for its performance the whole of 2002 due to market volatility and “the resulting uncertainty about the total amount of necessary impairments on investments”.