Polish pension fund sector set for another merger

first_imgPoland’s biggest insurer has struck an agreement to take over pension funds run by one of its biggest banks.Under an agreement reached between state-owned PZU Life and Bank Pekao – Poland’s second biggest bank by assets – PZU’s pension management company is to take over the open and voluntary pension funds run by Pekao Pioneer.The transaction would shrink the number of second-pillar open pension funds (OFEs) to 10, and would be the second in the space of 12 months, following Aegon’s takeover of Nordea’s pension fund in November.Currently OFE PZU “Złota Jesień” is the third biggest by membership and assets, behind those of Nationale-Nederlanden and Aviva BZ WBK. At the end of October, according to the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF), it had net assets of PLN23.5bn (€5.5bn) and a membership of 2.1m, accounting for 13% of total industry assets and 13.2% of the total pension fund membership.The Pekao OFE, whose managing company is owned by Bank Pekao and Pioneer Global Asset Management Company, was the smallest in the industry, with asset and membership shares of 1.5% and 2% respectively.In the case of voluntary pension funds, as of the end of March PZU had PLN32.1m in assets and Pekao Pioneer PLN60.2m.The arrangement is expected to be completed by mid-2018, pending approval from the KNF.Pekao’s relatively small share of the OFE market should address one of the regulator’s main concerns – the avoidance of excessive market concentration – when it considers fund mergers.The consolidation became necessary after Italy’s UniCredit sold its 32.8% controlling stake in Bank Pekao in June to PZU and the Polish Development Fund, with the insurer taking 20%.Under Polish law, an entity and its connected companies can only be shareholders in one and the same pension company, and the event of a merger or acquisition of the type proposed the parties have to establish a new entity to remain compliant.Meanwhile, PZU Group’s recent transactions consolidated its position as one of the country’s biggest investment groups, as well as the government’s policy to “re-Polonise” its financial sector.PZU Life accounts for more than a third of gross written insurance premiums, and is the market leader in employee pension programmes, managing 376 of the 1,036 plans of the end of last year. PZU’s investment fund was second with 122.last_img read more

Man nabbed over domestic violence rap

first_imgThe 32-year-old resident Geofrey Marianowas caught on the strength of an arrest warrant around 7 p.m. on Feb. 16, apolice report showed. The court recommended a P72,000 bail bondfor Mariano’s temporary liberty./PN The suspect was detained in the lockupfacility of the San Miguel police station. center_img ILOILO City – Police nabbed a mancharged with domestic violence in Barangay Consolacion, San Miguel, Iloilo. last_img

Drogba suffers ankle injury

first_imgChelsea hope either Diego Costa or Loic Remy will be fit for Sunday’s match at Arsenal after Didier Drogba suffered an ankle injury. He wrote on Twitter: “Disappointed not to be able to play the #MAP2015 because of an ankle injury but still supporting #EbolaResponse.” It is not the first time Drogba has had an ankle problem this season. He has made five Premier League starts this campaign, but could be displaced in Chelsea’s starting line-up at the Emirates Stadium anyway if Costa or Remy is fit. “Our target was for Diego to play the last four matches and Arsenal is the sixth match from the end,” Mourinho said last Friday. “He starts training with rest of the squad next week.” Mourinho also reported Remy had a better than 50 per cent chance to play against United, although teenager Dominic Solanke was on the substitutes’ bench, with the France striker ruled out. Chelsea are 10 points clear of the second-placed Gunners and victory against Arsene Wenger’s men will mean the Blues can wrap up the title at Leicester three days later. The 37-year-old Ivory Coast striker has led the Premier League leaders’ attack in wins over QPR and Manchester United in recent weeks due to Costa’s hamstring injury and Remy’s calf problem. Drogba, a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, on Monday withdrew from featuring in the Match Against Poverty in St Etienne. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more