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Insurer Triglav Looking for Strategic Investor for Balkans

Ljubljana, 02 December (STA) - Slovenia's leading insurance company, Zavarovalnica Triglav, will transfer its subsidiaries in the Balkans to a new holding company Triglav International, for which it is currently looking for a strategic partner. Triglav chairman says there is keen interest.

Chairman Matjaz Rakovec told an interview with Thursday's edition of daily Dnevnik that the company would have to take a decision on a strategic partner for Triglav International fairly soon.

The insurer needs a partner to disperse the risk, Rakovec said, noting that almost all of the Balkan insurance market was undeveloped.

The interest for a tie-up with the company is "huge", both among institutional owners like the EBRD and the IFC as well as among reinsurers, insurance companies and investment funds, he said.

He explained that the decision who to enter partnership with will depend on the offer. Assets alone will not suffice, Rakovec said, adding that the partner would have to properly position the insurance business.

Commenting on the planned sale of more than 50% of Slovenia's third biggest bank, Abanka Vipa, in which Triglav holds 25%, Rakovec said those favouring the sale were looking for short-term goals of reducing their debts to banks.

He believes that until the implementation of insurance regulation Solvency II, Triglav has enough time to consolidate the bank's ownership and then sell it or keep it.

"Abanka is our biggest investment and we'll not let it become a target of daily politics and the salvaging of certain companies that have gotten into trouble," Rakovec told Dnevnik.

The sale was announced by a group of shareholders led by conglomerate Sava.

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