Allianz Said Close to Purchase of Yapi Kredi Insurance

Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, is close to buying Yapi & Kredi Bankasi AS’s insurance unit and a pension-business stake for almost 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), two people with knowledge of the deal said.

Yapi & Kredi, the Istanbul-based bank controlled by UniCredit SpA and Turkey’s biggest business group, Koc Holding AS, may complete the sale of Yapi Kredi Sigorta AS to Munich-based Allianz within weeks, said the people, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Yapi & Kredi controls 94 percent of Yapi Kredi Sigorta, according to the bank’s website. UniCredit and Koc are selling Yapi Kredi Sigorta and Yapi Kredi Emeklilik AS as part of a reorganization of Yapi & Kredi. UniCredit is reviewing its strategy in countries where it operates to focus on the most-profitable businesses and Turkey remains a “core market,” Chief Executive Officer Federico Ghizzoni has said.

The strategic review of both Yapi Kredi Sigorta and private pensions unit Yapi Kredi Emeklilik is continuing, Yapi & Kredi Bankasi said in statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange today.

Yapi Kredi rose as much as 2.2 percent in Istanbul trading and was up 0.7 percent to 5.44 liras as of 12:30 p.m., and Sigorta was up 0.7 percent to 21.75 liras. Allianz advanced 0.7 percent to 108.5 euros in Frankfurt trading.

Yapi Kredi Sigorta generated 959.4 million liras ($526.3 million) of premiums in the first 10 months of 2012, up 21 percent from a year earlier, and had a 7 percent market share, according to the Insurance Association of Turkey’s website.

The news was reported earlier by Reuters. Officials at Allianz and UniCredit declined to comment.

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