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Allianz strikes $883 mln deal to be top Turkish insurer

Europe’s biggest insurer Allianz has secured the top spot in Turkey’s fast-growing insurance market by agreeing to buy Yapi Kredi Sigorta for about TRY 1.6 billion ($883 million, £584.5 million). The German group said on Wednesday it was buying a 93.9% stake in the Turkish insurer from local lender Yapi Kredi Bank. After closure of that deal, it will make a mandatory tender offer for the remaining 6.1% stake. Allianz said squeezing out minority YKS investors would make it easier to achieve efficiencies from the deal. Under a so-called bancassurance agreement over 15 years, Allianz will also get the right to sell insurance through Yapi Kredi’s network of 928 bank branches, Turkey’s fifth largest, with 6.5 million customers. Turkey’s growing population and rising standard of living have prompted a sharp increase in demand for car, property health and life insurance, but price competition among insurers is intense and many have suffered losses in recent years.