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Allianz to step up drive into Russia

Europe's biggest insurer Allianz SE is stepping up its drive into Eastern Europe with the German-based group saying Tuesday it was in talks to acquire Russian insurer Progress-Garant.

„We have been in talks with the company for some time,” an Allianz SE spokesman said. „But there are still no results.” His comments confirmed press reports in Russia that talks between the two insurers were underway. According to the Russian daily Vedomosti, Allianz wanted to buy Progress-Garant for about $100 million. Allianz declined to comment on the possible purchase price. Earlier this year, Allianz raised its stake in the Russian insurance group Rosno to 97% from about 47%. (