FOCUS SHORT

Slovakia’s Amslico changes ownership

METLIFE of the US pursued acquisition of AIG’s foreign life insurance business for two years before finally clinching a $15.5 billion purchase that will give it beachheads in 47 nations from Peru to Bangladesh, the Reuters newswire wrote on March 8.

METLIFE of the US pursued acquisition of AIG’s foreign life insurance business for two years before finally clinching a $15.5 billion purchase that will give it beachheads in 47 nations from Peru to Bangladesh, the Reuters newswire wrote on March 8.

Slovakia’s Amslico life insurer is part of the deal.

The deal for American Life Insurance (ALICO) will help MetLife, already the largest life insurer in the United States and Mexico, to diversify revenue by product and geographical distribution. It came few weeks after American International Group (AIG) agreed to sell its Asian life insurance unit, American International Assurance (AIA), to Britain’s Prudential insurer for $35.5 billion.

AIG is raising funds through these sales of business units to repay massive government bailout funds that it received shortly after the financial crisis hit the US.

MetLife first started eyeing ALICO, which sells life, accident, and health insurance as well as retirement and wealth management products in 55 countries, in the months before AIG nearly collapsed in September 2008. MetLife said it would pay $6.8 billion in cash and $8.7 billion in equity for ALICO.

ALICO, founded in 1921, will strengthen MetLife’s position in Japan and Europe and move it into a top-five market position in many markets in central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

ALICO has operated in Slovakia via Amslico AIG Life, which is one of the biggest foreign insurers focusing on life insurance in Slovakia.

It has been operating in Slovakia since 1995. Currently it has over 320,000 policyholders and plans to win 150,000 new customers in the medium term, the SITA newswire wrote.

Amslico AIG reported gross written premiums of €122.8 million in 2009 compared with €125.6 million a year earlier. According to preliminary results, the insurer closed 2009 with a net profit of €19 million, which was a 5 percent increase, SITA wrote.


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