Insurance firm Munich Re has confirmed that it is considering a stock buyback and said a decision would be forthcoming within the year.

It has long been speculated that Munich Re would buyback around E1 billion worth of shares over the next few years in an effort to return value to shareholders. While the company refused to say what the upper limit of any buyback would be, it did reveal that the lower limit would be at least E700 million

The decision on the upper limit will rest with the company’s performance in 2006, which should be good news given its recent results. Munich Re recorded record profits in 2005 of over E2.7 billion, despite high hurricane losses. It said it was looking to a range of E2.6 to E2.8 billion in 2006 and was so far on track.