News Middle East19 Feb 2018

Turkey:Malaysian sovereign fund plans to sell Turkish health insurer

19 Feb 2018

A unit of Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund plans to sell its Turkish health insurance business to focus on its home market, reported Bloomberg citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

Khazanah Nasional’s Avicennia Capital hired Barclays to manage the disposal of its Istanbul-based health, life and personal accident provider, said two people, who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential.

Avicennia, which expects as much as US$300 million from the sale, will invite potential investors later this month, one person said. The potential sale of Acibadem Sigorta, formally known as Acibadem Saglik ve Hayat Sigorta AS, comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year pushed a range of measures including cheaper health insurance and tax breaks to bolster his support and boost economic growth that slowed in the wake of July’s failed coup. Turkey’s health insurance premiums increased 19% in 2017 to TRY5 billion ($1.3 billion).

Barclays and Khazanah declined to comment on the sale.

Acibadem Sigorta is the largest health insurer by premiums in the country after Allianz SE, with an 18% market share, according to data from the Insurance Association of Turkey . The Turkish insurance industry has lured several international investors over the past decade, including Aviva, Cigna, Achmea BV and Sompo Holdings.

Avicennia, the insurance holding unit of Kuala Lumpur-based Khazanah, bought 90% of Acibadem Sigorta for $252 million in 2013 from founder Mehmet Ali Aydinlar and Abraaj Capital. It bought the remainder after the company stopped trading its shares on Borsa Istanbul.




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