AXA and BNP Paribas announced today they had reached an agreement for the establishment of a partnership on the Ukrainian property & casualty insurance market. AXA will acquire from BNP Paribas’ subsidiary UkrSibbank a 50% stake in its insurance subsidiary: Ukrainian Insurance Alliance (UIA). AXA will take the management control of the joint company, which will benefit from an exclusive bancassurance distribution agreement with UkrSibbank for an initial period of 10 years.
UIA sells mostly individual motor and property insurance through UkrSibbank’s 1000 branches. In 2006, it more than doubled its revenues compared to the previous year to $35 million. Following this operation, UIA will be well positioned to seize the growth prospects of the Ukrainian market, by combining the strength of UkrSibbank’s network and AXA’s expertise in insurance product development, client service and claims management.
The Ukrainian insurance industry is still very fragmented with top 10 players, including UIA, controlling just above 40% of the market. It enjoys very strong growth potential, with 47 million inhabitants and a very low penetration rate.
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to take place before year-end 2007.
This new partnership will allow AXA and BNP Paribas to grow faster in the promising Ukrainian property & casualty market. This deal mirrors AXA and BNP Paribas’ profitable partnership on the French property & casualty market.
AXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Protection. AXA’s operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. For full year 2006, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 79 billion and IFRS adjusted earnings amounted to Euro 5 billion. The AXA ordinary share is listed and trades under the symbol AXA on the Paris Stock Exchange. The AXA American Depository Share is also listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol AXA.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is a European leader in banking and financial services, and ranks among the world’s top 15 banks by market capitalization. It has 150 000 employees, almost 120 000 of whom are based in Europe. The group occupies leading positions in three significant fields of activity: Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. It is present in 85 countries and has a strong presence in all the key financial centres. Present throughout Europe, in all its business lines, France and Italy are its two domestic markets in retail banking. BNP Paribas enjoys a significant and growing presence in the United States and leading positions in Asia and in emerging markets.
About JSCIB «UkrSibbank»
UkrSibbank, the Ukrainian retail subsidiary of BNP Paribas (which controls 51% of the bank), is the 3rd largest bank in Ukraine by assets. The bank employs 10 500 people in Ukraine and has nearly 1 million individual customers and 69,000 corporate customers. Its regional network currently amounts to 1 000 branches throughout Ukraine.
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