Yeni Safak – Witnessing a rapid growth in recent years on the back of a young, underinsured population and a consistently expanding economy, Turkey’s insurance sector has become the favorite destination for global insurance companies looking for new opportunities.
Fifty percent stakes of the country’s one of the leading health insurers, Acibadem Sigorta, are on sale with three potential buyers - Malaysia's state-run investment firm Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Japanese insurer Sompo Japan and British health insurance group Bupa - currently in talks with the seller, Dubai-based private equity company Abraaj, partner of the equal share venture. The other half of Acibadem stakes are owned by Mehmet Ali Aydinlar, the founder of the private hospital chain, Acibadem Healthcare Group.
The third largest insurer with a 10 percent share in Turkey’s health insurance market, 50 percent of stakes of Acibadem Sigorta are estimated to be worth around USD 200-300 million, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The sale of Yapi Kredi Sigorta, the insurance branch of the Yapi Kredi bank to Allianz in March for TRY 1.6 billion (approx. USD 830 million) is the latest international transaction in Turkey’s insurance sector whose first quarter performance underscores its promising nature for investors. The premium production went up by 27 percent, reaching TRY 6.5 billion (approx. USD 3.3 billion) when compared to the TRY 5.1 billion (approx. USD 2.6 billion) in the same period of 2012, according to the figures released by the Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB).