Monday, January 25, 2016

Albania to sell INSIG insurer for 15.3 mln euros

* Albania to sell all shares of INSIG insurer

* Expects bids on March 10, for sixth time

Jan 25 Albania offered to sell all shares of its state-owned insurer INSIG for 15.3 million euros ($16.55 million) on Monday , its sixth attempt to sell the insurer that has been losing market steadily to private rivals.

INSIG was a monopoly until 2000, since when Albania has been seeking to sell it. American Reserve Life Insurance withdrew from the fourth sale in 2009 after it had agreed to buy a 61 percent stake for 25 million euros ($36.1 million).

Local and foreign companies can obtain the tender documents detailing the terms of the sale and the balance sheets of the company for the last three years from Tuesday until March 9. The law favours the highest bidder.

The interested candidates must present their bids in person at the Ministry of Finance on March 10, 2016, the Public Procurement Agency announced on its website.

In the non-life insurance sector, INSIG's gross written premiums reached 762 million leke ($6.03 million) in 2015, shrinking INSIG's share to 5.84 percent in 2015 from 6.22 percent in 2014, making it the seventh-biggest firm in Albania.

In the life sector, INSIG's gross written premiums fell to 86 million leke ($683,147.49) in 2015 from 121 million leke ($958,766.31) in 2014, reducing its share of the market to 8.42 percent in 2015 from 11.81 percent in 2014, with INSIG being the smallest company of three dominating the life insurance sector.

Last year, its share of paid life insurance claims rose to 37.62 percent from 8.71 percent 2014 after it paid more than its rivals Sicred and Sigal Life Uniqa Group Austria, figures from the Financial Supervision Authority showed.

In 2015 the Albanian insurance market increased by 21.18 percent over 2014, figures released on Monday showed. Gross insurance premiums amounted to 14 billion leke ($110.72 million), increasing by 2.461 billion leke ($19.46 million). ($1 = 0.9245 euros) ($1 = 126.4500 leke)

(Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Jermey Gaunt)

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