STATISTICS: SEE, FY 2018: downsize trend driven by the Turkish currency crisis

In the Southeast European (SEE) region, Turkey accounts for more 65% of the regional GWP. Thus, the over 12% market fall recorded by the local insurance market, in European currency -, triggered a negative change in the regional GWP also, despite the positive trend recorded by the insurance markets of Greece and Cyprus.

The 30% depreciation of the Turkish Lira throughout the year had a paramount role in the market results. In local currency, the Turkish market reported a 17.4% y-o-y in GWP to TRY 54.6 billion. Yet, the current situation is far from altering the Turkish market's potential and its attractiveness for foreign investors. As Yilmaz YILDIZ, CEO of ZURICH Insurance Turkey, told the World Finance quarterly, Turkey is going through a currency crisis, not a financial or economic crisis, which means that "with the right measures to contain this currency crisis, it will not be too difficult for Turkey to get back to its growth trajectory very soon." With a very large population, of 80 million, positive demographics and a young, well-educated population, in addition to a very good location, Turkey remains an attractive emerging market, just temporarily shadowed by the volatility arising from the political turmoil.

The other two SEE markets, Greece and Cyprus have both undergone a time of qualitative improvement in 2018: in Cyprus steps are taken towards establishing a new independent supervision authority for insurance and pension funds, a body that should overcome the weakneses that made possible some market failures in the past, as the Olympic banruptcy scandal. In Greece, progress has been made in what the local insurers' capitalization is concerned, as well as in terms of the insurance companies' corporate governance and transparency.

SEE Regional statistics

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