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Insurance Newsletter, No. 205, August 30, 2012

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INTERVIEW - TOP NEWS - PRESS CUTTINGS - POINT OF VIEW - EDITORIAL - EVENTS - STATISTICS

TOP NEWS
HUNGARY: The insurance markets returns on a downward trend
by daniela.ghetu@mxp.ro, 2012-08-30
Once again, the strong depreciation of the Hungarian Forint, has put a dramatic accent on the Hungarian insurance markets' negative dynamic, translating the 4.72% y-o-y nominal decrease registered in local currency by the end of 1H2012, into a double digit falling rate of 12.19% when denominating the market results in EUR. Thus, the overall underwritings of the Hungarian insurers totalized EUR 1.42 billion, EUR 197 million less than in 1H2011.
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KYRGYZSTAN: Establishment of the first reinsurance company
by olesea.adonev@mxp.ro, 2012-08-30
Kyrgyzstan's Government initiated a draft law, proposed for public debate, regarding the set-up of a reinsurance company, "KYRGYZ-English Reinsurance Company", noted a newsletter published by the Government, according to website Knews.ru.
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GREECE: Insurance market in the turmoil of dept crisis. 1H/2012 results
by dimitrios.tsoulias@mxp.ro, 2012-08-29
From the beginning of 2012, the state and expectations of the Greek insurance industry have remained shrouded in the big "cloud" represented by the country's financial crisis.
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ALBANIAN's insurance market falls 5.6% y/y in 1H
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-27
The insurance premium revenues for the period January-June 2012 were about ALL 4.07 billion (EUR 29.5 million), or 5.56% less in local currency as compared to the same period last year, announced the Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority. During this reporting period, the number of concluded insurance contracts was 469,449 or 25.40% less, compared to the similar period of 2011.
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LITHUANIA: GWP dropped 1.2% in first half year
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-27
Gross written insurance premiums in Lithuania dropped by 1.2% in the first six months, led by an 11.2% decrease in life insurance policies, according to the financial figures recently published by the Central Bank of the Republic of Lithuania. The premiums reached LTL 855.3 million (EUR 247.7 million), with non-life premiums accounting for 70.2% and life policies for 29.8% of the total, show the statistics published by the central bank. A year earlier, the proportion was 60.9% against 33.1%.
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TURKEY: Life insurance slowed down the growth of the market
by dimitrios.tsoulias@mxp.ro, 2012-08-29
Turkey's insurance sector is unusual in the general context of Central and Eastern Europe - and, indeed, the Middle East - in that it is both large in absolute terms and rapidly growing. Unsurprisingly, this aspect has not been missed by the multi-national insurance companies - the result being that most of the regional (Central and Eastern European) and global players are now present on the Turkish market.
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SERBIAN insurers' 1H2012 premiums up 6.2% YoY
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-27
Gross written insurance premiums in Serbia rose by 6.23% in local currency in the first half of 2012, led by growth in life insurance lines. The premiums totaled RSD 32.49 billion, with life insurance growing 17.44% to RSD 5.53 billion, and non-life insurance expanding 4.19% to RSD 26.96 billion, according to the National Bank of Serbia. In European currency, due the devaluation of RSD in relation to EUR, the insurance market did not show growth in terms of written premiums, which amounted EUR 280.51 million, 6.02% less YoY.
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ACE 2Q earnings dropped 45% but profits rise 54% for the first half
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-23
ACE's net income increased 54% during the first six months of 2012, on strong current accident year underwriting results and low catastrophe losses. The Swiss based insurer reported net income of USD 1.3 billion (or USD 3.80 per share), compared to USD 844 million (USD 2.48 per share) for the same period last year. ACE improved its combined ratio to 88.9% for 1H2012 from 92.7%, a year earlier. For the same period, GWP increased to USD 10.4 billion from USD 10.1 billion in 1H2011.
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SWISS Re reports USD 83 million profit despite USD 1 billion loss in US
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-23
SWISS Re reports a net profit of USD 83 million for the second quarter of 2012. According to the press release, "the result is impacted by the sale at a loss of USD 1.0 billion of the ADMIN Re US business". At the same time, Property & Casualty Reinsurance delivered a strong result "from lower Nat Cat losses and positive prior-year development", while Life & Health Reinsurance net income "benefited from realized gains".
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UNIQA Group considers buying the majority stake in Zavarovalnica MARIBOR
by daniela.ghetu@mxp.ro, 2012-08-22
UNIQA Group is considering the possibility of buying a 51% stake in Zavarovalnica MARIBOR, one of the main players on the Slovenian insurance market. Norbert HELLER, spokesman for the Austrian group, confirmed UNIQA's interest in this potential acquisition for several financial newspapers from Austria and Slovenia. He also specified that UNIQA is waiting to get detailed information in order to properly evaluate "the attractiveness of this potential acquisition target".
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ARMENIA: Medical insurance, mandatory from 2013
by olesea.adonev@mxp.ro, 2012-08-24
Health insurance could become mandatory in Armenia next year, according to statements given by Armen SHAHINYAN, representative of NAIRI Insurance, to website ArmInfo. He said that people that have health insurance policies belong rather to the well-off social group. So, it is necessary to launch mandatory health insurance so the whole population can afford to insure their health.
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Romania's TOP 10 general insurance: The first 10 players grew by almost 2% in national currency
by alex.rosca@mxp.ro, 2012-08-22
In the first six months of 2012, the general insurance market gathered gross written premiums worth over EUR 746 million, a slight decline of 1,4% in European currency compared to the value recorded at a similar time last year, according to preliminary data gathered by insuranceprofile.ro.
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ROMANIA: Top 10 Life Insurance - underwritings worth EUR 195 million
by alex.rosca@mxp.ro, 2012-08-23
During the first half of the current year, the Romanian life insurance market registered a decrease of more than 5% in European currency, total underwritings adding up to EUR 195 million. In RON, life insurance registered a real decrease of 2,3% in the analyzed period, representing 19.8% of total underwritings.
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TURKMENISTAN is preparing to launch a new insurance company
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-23
In the near future will be launched a new player on the insurance market of Turkmenistan, informed the local media. The company name will be ATIYACLANDYRYS Hyzmatlary ("Insurance Services"), and will have the following local entities as shareholders: TURKMENGAS (25%% stake in share capital as a founder), TURKMENISTAN Airlines (with a share of 15% of the authorized capital) and State Insurance of Turkmenistan (with a share of 10%).
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GROUPAMA posts EUR 87 million loss in 1H
by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 2012-08-22
The French insurer GROUPAMA reported a net loss of EUR 87 million in the first six months of the year. At the same time, the group posted revenues of EUR 9.34 billion, down 2.8% from a year earlier, excluding asset sales and acquisitions. In property and casualty insurance business the premiums amounted to EUR 5.05 billion (+4.02%), while in life and health segment, premiums written decreased by 10% to EUR 4.15 billion. As for financial and banking activities, revenues totaled EUR 134 million, down 9%.
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VIG: Strong growth in premiums in profitability on the CEE markets sustain the Group's performance
by daniela.ghetu@mxp.ro, 2012-08-22
CEE markets' contribution to VIG-VIENNA Insurance Group's results grew, both in GWP and profit terms, in 1H2012. Thus, premiums unwritten in the CEE markets represent 53.8% of the total group's volume, 3pp more y-o-y, amounting EUR 2.84 billion. Also, the contribution of the CEE markets to the overall profit before takes figure grew from 46.5% in 1H2011, to 49.4% in 1H2012. In absolute terms, the profit before takes recorded by the CEE subsidiaries of VIG amounted EUR 148.91 million, 13.6% up as y-o-y. VIG companies are markets leaders in Austria and 3 of the 9 core CEE markets: Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. "This proves once more that we are pursuing the right strategy as the largest international insurance group in this region", said Peter HAGEN, Chairman of the Managing Board and CEO of VIENNA Insurance Group.
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AEGON: Strong overall sales and earnings in 2Q2012
by daniela.ghetu@mxp.ro, 2012-08-22
Higher underlying earnings driven by growth, cost reductions and favorable currency movements, were reported for 2Q2012 by the Dutch financial group AEGON. According to its latest press release, underlying earnings increased by 10%, to EUR 443 million. Yet, underlying earnings from New Markets decreased 9% to EUR 64 million, mainly as a result of the lower underlying earnings from CEE. "Despite the challenges of historically low interest rates, continued market volatility and stagnant growth affecting the world's leading economies, AEGON's businesses delivered a strong set of results in the second quarter, as measured by both sales and earnings", said Alex WYNAENDTS, CEO, AEGON.
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OTHER NEWS
TALANX closed 1H2012 with a double operating profit
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QBE Insurance 1H 2012 profit up 13%
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VIG business in Romania dropped by 14.5% in 1H2011 to EUR 235.7 million
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ROMANIA: Brokerage market profit drops by 7% in 2011, down to RON 141 million
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GREECE: Fines up to EUR 1,000 to vehicle owners with no insurance policy
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PRESS CUTTINGS
AZERBAIJAN: Insurance premiums in seven months reach level of 2011

AZERBAIJAN: Life insurance fell below 12.78% of total volume of Azerbaijan's insurance market

AZERBAIJAN: Qarant Sigorta defers application for compulsory insurance license

AZERBAIJAN: Top-10 Azeri insurance firms on payments volume changes

BULGARIA: Bulgarian municipalities told to insure property against natural disasters

BULGARIA: Insurers 5-mo gross premiums fall 4.4%

CZECH REPUBLIC: Austrian insurance company VIG increased profit in the Czech Republic to EUR 93 mil in 1H 2012

CZECH REPUBLIC: Ceska Pojistovna decreased its net profit to CEK 2 bil during 1H 2012

HUNGARY: VIG to Grow in Hungary

LATVIA: BTA is the first insurance company in Latvia that has developed its own mobile application to support its customers

POLAND: PZU wants to enter Latvian and Estonian markets

RUSSIA: Finance Ministry proposes travel insurance coverage be set at a minimum of RUB 1 million

RUSSIA: VIG concludes sale of holdings in Russian insurers

SERBIA: Insurers 7-mo gross written premiums edge down 1.0%

Credit Europe Asigurari
EDITORIAL

At first sight

Shrinking business, improved (or, at least steady) profitability ... seems to be, at first sight, the statement which summarizes the trends registered in the first half of 2012 on the Central and South-Eastern European markets. Or, slightly changing the angle, while most of the markets across the region are doing rather bad in terms of volume, their main players show good results, at least in terms of profitability.
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daniela.ghetu@mxp.ro


BCR Asigurari de Viata
ALICO

INTERVIEW

Hrvoje PAUKOVIC
Director
Croatian Insurance Bureau

In the near future, the most important challenges and also opportunities in the Croatian market are strongly linked to the accession to the EU, on 1 July 2013, accompanied by the opening up of the insurance market to other EU insurers on a "freedom of establishment" or "freedom of services" regulated market. The liberalization of rating uniformity in the motor third party liability (MTPL) market is also very challenging for both the insurers and consumers, but also for the supervisor.
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STATISTIC UPDATES
Albania 1H2012
Greece 1H2012
Hungary 1H2012
Lithuania 1H2012
Serbia 1H2012
Turkey 1H2012


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EVENTS

ICAR - The International CAtastrophic Risks Forum

ICAR - The International CAtastrophic Risks Forum, the most important European event dedicated to catastrophic risks, will take place on October 15th, 2012 in Bucharest, Romania, this year's edition being again officially supported by The World Bank.
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Motor Insurance Conference
Bucharest October 3, 2012

The Romania motor insurance market is still in search of solutions for the high claims ratios both in MTPL and Motor Hull segments. As a consequence, it is at the Motor Insurance Conference, on the 3rd of October in Bucharest, where we will try to find the solutions for the problems the market faces.
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International Yalta Finance Forum at its 12th Edition

The 12th International Yalta Finance Forum, which has become a tradition for leaders in insurance and reinsurance in Central and Eastern Europe, will be held on September 17-21 in Yalta, Ukraine. PRIMM Insurance & Pensions Magazine supports the event as Media Partner.
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DOWNLOAD




Les Rendez-Vous de Septembre
September 7th-13th, 2012
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Organizer: RVS
For details: www.rvs-monte-carlo.com
International Istanbul Insurance Conference
October 4th-5th, 2012
Istanbul
Organizer: Istanbul Underwriting Center
General Insurance Forum
October 9th-10th, 2012
Rome, Italy
Organizer: Fleming Europe
Media Partner: XPRIMM Publications
10% discount for XPRIMM Readers
For details: finance.flemingeurope.com
4th Annual Distribution Strategies
October 11th-12th, 2012
Rome, Italy
Organizer: Fleming Europe
Media Partner: XPRIMM Publications
10% discount for XPRIMM Readers
For details: finance.flemingeurope.com
Baden - Baden XPRIMM Reception
4th Edition

October 21st, 2012
Kurhaus Casino, Runder Saal
Baden-Baden, Germany
33rd Baden-Baden Meeting 2012
October 21st-25th, 2012
Baden-Baden, Germany
WorldPensionSummit 2012
November 14th-16th, 2012
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Media Partner: XPRIMM Publications
For details: www.worldpensionsummit.com
EIOPA Conference
November 21st, 2012
Frankfurt
Organizer: EIOPA

POINT OF VIEW
Boris SABAN, MBA
Executive Director
National Bureau of Montenegro Insurers

What makes us unique is size of the market. Montenegro is only 625,000 inhabitants. This means market is very small but flexible. No big risks, no big cat exposure.
More
Samir OMERHODZIC
Director
Insurance Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Insurance sector in BiH is burdened with numerous problems that greatly hamper the growth of this financial activity. I shall only mention the most important: unfair competition, disrespect of the bonus - malus system, insurance fraud and uninsured vehicles. (...) The biggest problem on the market is dumping in premiums and violation of tariffs by market competitors.
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JLT

Kunden Broker

STATISTICS
Albania
Armenia
Bosnia Azerbaijan
Bulgaria Belarus
Croatia Georgia
Czech Rep. Kazakhstan
Estonia Kyrgyzstan
Hungary Moldova
Kosovo Russia
Latvia Turkmenistan
Lithuania Tajikistan
Macedonia Ukraine
Montenegro Uzbekistan
Poland  
Romania  
Serbia Cyprus
Slovakia Greece
Slovenia Turkey


THE EDITORIAL STAFF:

President: Sergiu COSTACHE CEO: Adriana PANCIU
Managing Partner: Alexandru D. CIUNCAN
Development Director: Mihaela CIRCU

Project Manager XPRIMM.COM: Daniela GHETU
Coordinating Editor: Andreea IONETE
International Column Coordinator: Vlad BOLDIJAR
CIS Research Consultant: Olesea ADONEV
Senior Editors: Vlad PANCIU, Oleg DORONCEANU
Editors: Oana RADU, Mihai CRACEA
Junior Editors: Adina TUDOR, Dimitris TSOULIAS, Mihai APOSTOL

Accounts Manager: Georgiana OPREA
IT Department: Octavian GRIGOR, Dorin PALADE, Cosmin ARMASESCU

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