Munich Re, the world's biggest reinsurer, said profit this year is expected to decline 9.1% as prices charged by the industry are in decline.

The estimate for net income this year of 3 billion euros ($4.2 billion) compares to profit before minorities of 3.3 billion euros in 2013, the Munich-based reinsurer said in a statement today. Munich Re also said it plans to buy back shares worth 1 billion euros before its 2015 shareholder meeting.

Reinsurers, which help primary insurers shoulder risks, are increasing payouts to investors as strong balance sheets and lower-than-average losses from natural disasters led to an abundance of capital available for coverage. The strong supply of capital brought rates for property-catastrophe policies down 11% in January, while prices also fell for most other types of coverage, according to Guy Carpenter, the reinsurance broker of Marsh & McLennan Cos.

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