Groupama may invest more in Turkey

Groupama may invest more in Turkey

Groupama, a leading European insurance, banking and financial services group which has already bought five companies in the Turkish insurance market, may pursue interest in new acquisitions in the upcoming period, according to Yılmaz Yıldız, chief executive officer of Groupama Turkey, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The company has invested a total of $800 million in Turkey to date, Yıldız said. "We are interested in any kind of acquisition that will provide added-value to our company. Groupama's desire in the Turkish insurance market always continues."

Groupama first entered the Turkish market by acquiring a 30 percent share of Güneş Sigorta in 1991. The company acquired Başak Sigorta and Emeklilik during the privatization process in 2006 and it purchased Güven Sigorta in 2008.

Noting that they gathered the acquired companies under the roof of Groupama, Yıldız said: "Groupama has followed a positive trend during the first four years in the Turkish market. The company has obtained seriously high profitability figures."

Despite growth figures, the insurance market could not make a technical profit, said Yıldız, adding that companies have met their deficit with financial profitability.

"Some insurance companies that were disappointed after their acquisitions in Turkey may withdraw from the market," Yıldız said. "Companies that do not have distribution agreements with banks should rethink their situation. They should either determine a niche market and aim to grow there, or they should withdraw from the market."

The share of foreign capital in the Turkish insurance market has increased to 70 percent, Yıldız said. "The shareholders of those companies may be French or British but they are residents in Turkey. The important thing is how much they add value to the sector. They produce premiums, provide employment opportunities and pay their taxes."

"There are some companies that have made serious investments in the market. The possibility of a global actor's sale to another global actor is low. I expect consolidation in large companies," he added.

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