EUROPE - Zurich-based life and pension insurer Swiss Life has confirmed it may sell its Dutch and Belgian operations.

In a statement issued earlier today, Swiss Life said it was "reviewing the strategy for individual markets" - a move which "includes a potential sale of the businesses in the Netherlands and Belgium".

Swiss Life was stressed no decision had been taken yet as the process is "at an early stage" but no further comment was give.

In its report of 2007 first-half results, Swiss Life noted it has seen a 50% drop in the year-on-year segment result for the Netherlands down to CHF63m (€38m).

However, the company stressed last year's results had been boosted by a positive one-off effect, adding this year's results looked worsened because higher expenses in some areas.

Overall the company "made further progress" in its Dutch operations, the report stated.

Swiss Life said the firm could yet win "another two large pension funds" as clients for either administration or asset management services.

The Belgian business reported a CHF20m segment result, a CHF15m increase year-on-year.

However, premium income for individual insurance declined 41% to CHF125m because of "pricing adjustments for various products to boost profitability".

In non-life business, Swiss Life recorded premium income of CHF39m, a 5% increase.

Swiss Life's insurance business currently has operations in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.