ECONOMY

New force in car insurance

Aspis Pronia announced the acquisition of fellow insurance group General Union yesterday. With this move, Aspis owner Pavlos Psomiadis is creating a huge car insurance umbrella group that will account for about 1.5 million vehicles covered in this country, by far the biggest player in the local market. Ethniki Insurance lies a distant second, with about 485,000 vehicles insured. The acquisition concerns 100 percent of the shares of the General Union company and a 90 percent stake in General Trust. The two companies had 585,000 vehicles insured at the end of 2008, while the total registered insurance fees reached 152 million euros. The price paid for the transaction was not made known but the deal provides for Giorgos Diamantopoulos to remain as general director and sales director of the General Union group. The announcement surprised the local car insurance market, even though reports on it had been rumored for some time.