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EBRD takes stake in UNIQA

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is taking over 20% of UNIQA Osiguranje, part of Austria’s UNIQA Versicherungen A.G., which is the fifth-largest insurance company in Bosnia.

The London-based bank’s investment is the first new project based on an expanded framework agreement between the EBRD and UNIQA, which have worked together since 1998. Under the framework, ERBD is making €150 million ($218.4 million) available — up from the current €70 million ($101.9 million) — for future minority participations in existing UNIQA subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as for any further acquisitions. The agreement was signed Monday, according to a joint statement.

In 1998, UNIQA signed the first framework agreement with the EBRD, with the goals of financial investments for the establishment of insurance activities in Eastern Europe, as well as promoting the exchange of market know-how with the renowned bank. Since the start of the cooperation, EBRD has participated in UNIQA subsidiaries in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 to nurture private sector development in Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries after the fall of communism. Today the EBRD, which is owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, uses the tools of investment to help build market economies in countries from Central Europe to Central Asia. It invests mainly in private enterprises, usually together with commercial partners. (