AXA Buys 80% Of Belarus's B&B Insurance

PARIS (Dow Jones)--AXA SA (CS.FR) Thursday said it will buy 80% of Belarus's second-largest insurer B&B Insurance, as the French insurer seeks to expand in Central and Eastern Europe.

AXA said the Belarusian insurance market offers a very significant potential for growth, as less than 20% of the population is covered with full casco insurance, or comprehensive vehicle insurance, and less than 15% of households benefit from a home insurance.

B&B Insurance focuses on the property and casualty insurance market, where it has an overall market share of 10% with EUR29 million of revenue in 2009, AXA said in a statement.

"In this market, we would like to replicate AXA's success in Ukraine, where we've become market leader in three years, by leveraging on geographical and cultural ties between the two countries," Cyrille de Montgolfier, CEO of AXA Central & Eastern Europe said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approval. No financial details were available.

-By Ruth Bender, Dow Jones Newswires; +33 1 4017 1740;


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