Axa says so long to Serbia with sale to Vienna Insurance Group

Hayley Kirton
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Public Viewing: Germany v Serbia - 2010 FIFA World Cup
The move marks an exit from the Serbian market for the French insurer (Source: Getty)

Axa will be saying farewell to Serbia shortly, after the insurer announced today that it had agreed to sell its operations in the country.

The Paris-headquartered company said in a statement that it had entered an agreement to sell both its life and savings and its property and casualty operations in Serbia to Vienna Insurance Group (VIG).

The move will see Axa exit the Serbian market.

Under the terms of the agreement, VIG would acquire 100 per cent of Axa Zivotno osiguranje Ado and Axa Nezivotno osiguranje Ado, but the companies did not disclose any further details of the transaction.

The two Serbian companies pulled in just over €12m (£10.3m) in premiums in 2015 and have more than 106,000 customers.

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"Based on positive economic forecasts, Serbia is a clear growth and investment market for VIG," said Elisabeth Stadler, chief executive of VIG. "Serbia is one of the four markets where we aim to reach a market share of at least 10 per cent over the medium term. The two Axa companies are a very good fit for our portfolio, and their acquisition will allow this goal to be achieved far sooner"

The completion of the deal is subject to receiving the appropriate regulatory approvals.

Shares in Axa closed up 0.5 per cent at €16.38 for the day. Meanwhile, shares in VIG closed up 1.1 per cent at €16.34.

The French insurer is undergoing a bit of a revamp at the moment. In May, it struck a deal to sell pension and protection business Sun Life to Phoenix for £375m.

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Earlier that same month, Axa announced that it would be selling wrap platform Elevate to Standard Life.

As well as slimming down its offerings, the insurer has also recently rejigged its management team.

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