All options are on the table for Hellenic Bank’s insurance subsidiaries since the lender wants to make best use as well as increase revenue from insurance activities which remain a key focus point. The appointment of consultants for negotiations with interested investors is amongst them.
A Bank prospectus issued last week did point out that after the completion of the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank as well as the relevant customer base, there are improved opportunities for developing the Bank’s insurance business and the creation of value through affiliated insurance companies.
“In this context, the Bank will review in the first half of 2019: (a) the position of its insurance subsidiaries in the insurance business; (b) bank assurance contracts through which the bank distributes insurance products by its insurance subsidiaries to its customers and, in general, (c) the strategy that the bank should follow to maximise the value of insurance and bank assurance service,” said the prospectus.
In a bid to find the best model for its insurance business, the Bank intends to appoint international consultants to start negotiations after signing confidentiality agreements with third parties who may be interested in possible cooperation in the insurance sector, it added. And it specifies that, when referring to third parties, this may include insurance companies and financial investors.
It is also specified in the prospectus that the above mentioned developments may lead to: (a) the sale of subsidiary insurance companies of the Bank to a third insurance company or the merger of subsidiary insurance companies of the bank with a third insurance company under a bank assurance partnership with a third insurance company (b) an investment in the Bank’s subsidiary insurance companies so as to upgrade the product on offer as well as the market position of its products (c) no change in the existing strategy and business model of insurance services on offer.
The prospectus then makes clear that “the Bank is not bound by any outcome resulting from this exploratory process, which is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2019”.
Interest from investors for the Bank’s insurance companies has been expressed from time to time but nothing materialized so far, according to INSIDER information.
By Antonis Antoniou