ECONOMY

Stavros Konstantas: The insurance market’s contribution toward investments

stavros-konstantas-the-insurance-market-s-contribution-toward-investments

ETHNIKI INSURANCE

Greece, and gradually the whole world, is returning to normal, trying to recover from the deadly coronavirus. As a nation, we displayed remarkable planning, as well as consistency in sticking to all necessary measures recommended by the experts, and this in a way has seen us emerge victorious from this first battle. However, we are anxiously waiting to see how the global economic crisis develops, as well as the local one, due to the lockdown.

In this second stage of the recovery after the crisis, the business world will have to exceed itself. Corporations in the post-coronavirus era must adjust to the new normal. We were only just emerging from a long-term recession when the coronavirus pandemic came, which suggests that the enterprises that survive will need to be prepared for constant changes. They will have to be flexible in organizational and operational terms, technologically advanced, and innovative regarding the supply of their products and remote communications with their customers. The economic downturn due to the coronavirus requires changes in operational models, strong corporate governance, and enterprises’ liquidity and capital sufficiency.

The insurance market, as a financial services sector, is directly linked to the course of GDP. Insurance companies in Greece are monitoring the effects of the crisis on the domains of health and pensions and will be asked to make a significant contribution toward an economic rebound. I believe that the sector has responded perfectly during this unprecedented period. The new conditions render obligatory the need for the partnership of the private and public sectors in the domains of health, pensions and natural disasters.

Corporations will be under major pressure for as long as the recession constitutes a threat. The same pressure will also affect insurance companies, mainly in terms of the losses of their investment portfolios and the drop in activity by enterprises in tourism and other domains that are suffering.

Regarding the recovery, the main parameters that will lead our economy back to a rising course include the fact that the country was in a growth phase before the coronavirus crisis, and therefore that trend is expected to return. Then there is the significant 24 billion euros in support measures announced by the state and the prospect of the additional funding of companies by the banks after the generous liquidity support by the ECB. There is also the remarkable progress the country has made in adopting and using new technologies and attracting important investments, which are expected to bolster the country’s GDP.

At this point we ought to note the considerable contribution of the insurance market and the investment domain, as the insurance sector constitutes one of the Greek economy’s biggest institutional investors, thereby supporting its growth and export character. As the Greek insurance market leader, Ethniki Insurance is expected to take a leading role in the return of the economy to normality, standing by its customers, sales networks, employees as well as society in general, as it has done throughout its 129-year history.

THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE 

Sector: Insurance
Headquarters: Greece
Established: 1891
Employees: 680
Registered Premiums 2019: €741 million
Pretax Earnings 2019: €82 million