Bloomberg News

NBG Said to Tap UBS, BofA to Advise on Finansbank Insurer

March 13, 2012

National Bank of Greece SA’s Turkish lender, Finansbank AS (FINBN), is working with Bank of America Corp. and UBS AG (UBSN) to explore the possible sale of its pension fund manager and life insurance unit, four people with knowledge of the situation said.

International insurers including Axa SA (CS), Europe’s second- largest insurer, may be among companies interested in Istanbul- based Finans Emeklilik & Hayat AS, said three of the people, who declined to be identified because the process is confidential. Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., which bought the Turkish insurer Fiba Sigorta A.S. in 2010, may also be considering a bid, two of the people said.

Turkey’s private personal pension industry, which grew at an annual rate of 19 percent last year to 14.3 billion liras ($8 billion), has already attracted international investors, with 9 of the 15 licensed Turkish pension firms controlled by foreign companies. Finansbank said in October that it would evaluate options for Finans Emeklilik, including a sale of shares.

In June, MetLife Inc. (MET) paid 161.9 million euros for Dexia SA’s (DEXB) Turkish insurance unit Deniz Emeklilik & Hayat AS, which managed a fund valued at 106 million liras as of March 2.

Finans Emeklilik had a fund of 120.7 million liras on the same day, representing 0.8 percent of the total funds managed by private pension firms in Turkey, according to the website of the government agency that monitors the industry.

Turkey’s private personal pension system, created in 2003, is based on individuals’ voluntary monthly contributions to funds that pay out after 10 years of savings.

Spokesmen for Bank of America, Axa and Sompo Japan declined to comment. Spokesmen for Finansbank and UBS were not immediately available for comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at eersoy@bloomberg.net; Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net; Chris V. Nicholson in Paris at cnicholson22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net


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