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Zurich Financial to buy stake in OOO NASTA to expand in Russia

Zurich Financial Services AG, Switzerland's largest insurer, said it will buy a majority stake in Moscow-based insurer OOO NASTA to become the largest foreign general insurer in Russia.

Zurich Financial will take a 66% stake in NASTA and aims to buy the remainder by 2010, it said in an e-mailed statement from Zurich today. It didn't give a price. NASTA has more than 3,000 employees and had $230 million in gross written premiums last year, Zurich said. The transaction is scheduled to close in the first half of this year, pending Russian regulatory approval. (Bloomberg)