Austrian firm seeks arbitration over profit ban for health insurers

Slovakia faces a third arbitration case over a law it passed in 2007 banning private health insurers from retaining their profits and forcing them to use any profits for health care for their clients, the SITA newswire wrote. European American Investment Bank (Euram), an Austrian company, is seeking damages it claims to have suffered after it had acquired a 51-percent stake in the Slovak health insurer Apollo Zdravotná Poisťovňa in 2007 via its Slovak subsidiary EIC, the Slovak Finance Ministry informed the SITA newswire.

Slovakia faces a third arbitration case over a law it passed in 2007 banning private health insurers from retaining their profits and forcing them to use any profits for health care for their clients, the SITA newswire wrote.

European American Investment Bank (Euram), an Austrian company, is seeking damages it claims to have suffered after it had acquired a 51-percent stake in the Slovak health insurer Apollo Zdravotná Poisťovňa in 2007 via its Slovak subsidiary EIC, the Slovak Finance Ministry informed the SITA newswire.

The Austrian company initiated the arbitration based on an Austrian-Slovak investment agreement. Euram claims damages ensuing from regulatory measures introduced by Slovak authorities at the end of 2007 and in early 2008. The company is claiming damages even though EIC sold its share in the insurer in 2008.

The Finance Ministry said that an arbitration tribunal dealing with another dispute considering the same bilateral investment agreement to which Euram refers has already been turned down in full in October 2009, after the initial phase of proceedings.

The ministry’s statement continued, according to SITA: “Foreign shareholders of private health insurers Dôvera and Union are suing Slovakia over the legal obligation of health insurers to use profits for forced investments. Former Prime Minister Robert Fico said he was looking forward to arbitration with shareholders of private health insurance companies. He was convinced that finances that private health insurers wanted to keep for themselves from paid health insurance are public funds. The new government, however, wants to change the status quo.”

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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