11.10.2006

UNIQA LIFE now also launching a life insurance company in the Ukraine

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Joint company of UNIQA and Credo-ClassicImplementation of the Preferred Partnership with Raiffeisen Bank Aval is the priority for the coming months UNIQA and the sixth-largest Ukrainian ...

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UNIQA and the sixth-largest Ukrainian property insurer Credo-Classic - in which UNIQA currently holds a 35% share - have founded a joint life insurance company, "UNIQA LIFE". UNIQA and Credo-Classic each hold 50% of the new company. "UNIQA LIFE", which is headquartered in Kiev, has now received the approval to start business and will begin selling life insurance in the Ukrainian market already within the next few days.
 
"With the start of business at UNIQA LIFE, we have implemented another important step in our strategy in the quickly developing markets of Eastern and Southeastern Europe. We announced the founding of a life insurance company already upon UNIQA's entrance into the Ukrainian market with the acquisition of shares in Credo-Classic in May 2006, and we are naturally pleased to have been able to implement that so quickly," explains Chairman of the Board Konstantin Klien.
 
During the first phase, UNIQA LIFE will primarily offer its life insurance products through the comprehensive sales network of Credo-Classic. Supported by the excellent image of Credo-Classic in the Ukraine and the reliability and professionalism of the UNIQA Group, the CEO of "UNIQA LIFE", Vladimir Simonchuk, expects a good entrance into the still small but extremely rapidly growing life insurance market in the Ukraine. The "preferred partnership" that unites UNIQA with the companies of the Raiffeisen International Group also represents a strong development potential for the new company: "In the countries in which both Raiffeisen International and UNIQA are represented, we are the preferred partner in the development of products that meet customer needs, in joint marketing and in the utilization of cross-selling potentials in sales. The great prospects and advantages that arise within the framework of such cooperation for the local Raiffeisenbank and UNIQA LIFE can be seen in the success story of the cooperation with Raiffeisen Versicherung in the cooperative bank sector in Austria over the past decades. Putting this priceless experience in a long-term partnership into practice now in Eastern Europe as well, and in the Ukraine in particular, is one of the very important tasks for the near future," says UNIQA Chairman of the Board Konstantin Klien regarding developments over the medium term. In the Ukraine, the preferred partner of UNIQA LIFE is Raiffeisen Bank Aval, a member of Raiffeisen International. This is the leading retail bank in the Ukraine with 1,342 branches and more than 3 million customers.
 
The life insurance market in the Ukraine is developing enormously rapidly - in the last three years alone, the premium volume has quintupled and in 2005 reached roughly 50 million euros - though despite disproportional growth, this is only 2.5% of the total insurance premiums in the Ukraine. Currently, life insurance accounts for roughly 0.08% of the gross domestic product of the Ukraine. In the 10 "new EU members" since 2004, this number is already 1.4%, while in the "old" 15 EU member states it is 5.4%. "From these numbers alone, one can see the potential that lies in the Ukraine and the other growing markets of Eastern Europe. But one must be aware that it will be decades, not years, before life insurance achieves a similar status here to that seen in Western Europe or even in the 'new' EU members such as the Czech Republic or Hungary," says Andreas Brandstetter, who is responsible for the new markets in Central and Eastern Europe on the Management Board of UNIQA.
 
Credo-Classic UNIQA reached an agreement with the shareholders of Credo-Classic regarding a staged acquisition of a majority share in the company already in April 2006 and holds 35% of the shares since May. Simultaneously with the entrance into the company, UNIQA took over defined management and controlling functions at Credo-Classic. In 2008, UNIQA's share will increase to 51% and in 2009 to 76%. Credo-Classic is currently the sixth-largest property insurer in the country, employs 530 employees and is focused on the expansion of the private customer volume in addition to the key customer business, which still dominates within the Ukraine. In the first eight months of this year, it was possible to increase the premium volume by about 21% to 21 million euros.

Contact

UNIQA Group Communication
Untere Donaustraße 21 
1029 Wien
Austria
Tel: +43 1 211 75-3440
Fax: +43 1 211 75-3619 
E-Mail: presse@uniqa.at 

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