ECONOMY

Banks to sell insurance subsidiaries

The local insurance market is entering a period of changes due to the upcoming sales of major banking groups’ subsidiaries.

The first to go up for grabs will be Agrotiki Insurance, a subsidiary of the Piraeus Group, with the Eurobank Group set to follow with the sale of its Eurolife subsidiary. Alpha’s small and recently formed insurer will stay in the group, while Ethniki Insurance, National Bank’s subsidiary and the sector’s biggest player, would be hard to sell.

The departure of systemic banks from the insurance market emerges as a necessary evil, not only in their efforts to cut costs but also in a bid to try to contain future capital requirements the insurance sector will have ahead of the new rules on solvency.

The insurance market’s growth prospects through the strengthening of pension programs and the connection of the above insurers with extensive bank networks constitute significant advantages for foreign buyers, although bank group officials are not harboring any major expectations.