Shares in Allianz jumped more than 3% today after the German insurer promised bigger dividend payouts having posted a forecast-beating jump in third-quarter net profit.
The surprise dividend move helped comfort shareholders worried about turmoil at asset management arm Pimco.
The defection of investment guru Bill Gross from Pimco has unsettled clients, triggered record investor outflows and weighed on the unit's quarterly contribution to the group.
In a statement issued after yesterday's Frankfurt stock market close, Europe's biggest insurer said it would pay out 50% of net profit in dividends compared to 40% up to now.
Allianz had said it would review its dividend policy by the end of the year after facing calls from investors to bring its dividend more into line with peers like Zurich Insurance, which pays out around 70% of net results.
Major European insurers are offering shareholders a bigger share of their earnings this year as a low level of payouts for damage claims has allowed them to build up large cash piles.
Allianz's quarterly operating and net profit rose 5% and 11% respectively, beating the average forecasts in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages for 2.4% and 6.7% increases.
Operating profit in property-casualty insurance and asset management were both ahead of average analyst expectations, but asset management still posted an 8% decline from the same time last year.
Pimco, or Pacific Investment Management Co, posted outflows of $48.3 billion across its open-ended funds in October following the surprise departure of Gross, adding to the $25.5 billion of withdrawals the previous month.
Gross, who co-founded Pimco in 1971 and built it into one of the largest investment firms in the world, managing $2 trillion of pension, endowment and retirement money, resigned on September 26 to join rival Janus Capital Group.
Allianz's shares had fallen by more than 7% following Gross's departure. The group's asset management arm that Pimco dominates contributes roughly a quarter of group profit.
A majority of Pimco's outflows in October stemmed from investors pulling money from its flagship Pimco Total Return Fund, which was managed by Gross.
"Net outflow after the resignation of Bill Gross is within our expectation," Allianz chief financial officer Dieter Wemmer said.
Revenue at Pimco fell 5.9% in the third quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, the company said.
Allianz also said it was in reach of earning €10.5 billion in