Vienna Insurance Group, Austria's biggest insurer, said the firm boosted its stake in the Ukrainian insurance company Kniazha to increase market share in the former ex-Communist country.
Vienna Insurance raised its stake to 80% from about 50%, the company said today in an e-mail statement. Kniazha's premiums grew 60% in 2006 to about €8 million ($10.5 million), according to Vienna Insurance. Vienna Insurance, which changed its name from Wiener Staedtische Allgemeine Versicherung AG, is buying insurers across eastern Europe, where premiums are growing faster than in western Europe. The Vienna-based company reports full 2006 results April 2. The company, which raised its stake through a capital increase, didn't say how much it paid for the additional shares. (Bloomberg)