National Bank of Greece (TELL) SA’s Turkish lender, Finansbank AS (FINBN) (FINBN), plans to complete the sale of its pension fund and life insurance unit within two months, Finansbank Chairman Omer Aras said.
The Istanbul-based bank hired Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and UBS AG (UBSN) for the sale of Finans Emeklilik & Hayat AS and obtained non- binding bids from potential investors in an initial round of the process, Aras said in an interview in Istanbul today.
International insurers including Axa SA (CS), Europe’s second- largest insurer, are among potential bidders, according to three people who declined to be identified because the process is confidential. Sompo Japan Insurance Inc (8755)., which bought the Turkish insurer Fiba Sigorta A.S. in 2010, may also be considering an offer, two of the people said.
“There is great interest in the sale, all foreign,” Aras said, declining to identify potential buyers. He said the bank aims to collect binding bids by early April and “complete the sale in one or two months.”
Turkey’s private personal pension industry, where premium collection grew 19 percent to 14.3 billion liras ($8 billion) last year, has already attracted international investors, with nine of the 15 licensed Turkish pension firms controlled by foreign companies. In June, MetLife Inc. (MET) paid 161.9 million euros ($211 million) 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 date, 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. The company has a 4.6 percent share of Turkey’s life-insurance market, according to Istanbul-based Tera Brokers.
Turkey’s private pension system, created in 2003, is voluntary and based on contributions to funds that pay out after 10 years of savings.
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