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Turkish market offers opportunities; Fitch


The Turkish insurance industry failed to live up to the high expectations following deregulation in the early 1990s, although new opportunities are emerging, according to rating agency Fitch Inc.

While the Turkish market remains limited, with total premiums of just TRY7.8 billion ($5.7 billion), and in spite of intensified competition, new opportunities are arising for increased penetration, Fitch said.

"Companies are positioning themselves to benefit from the significant growth potential in the sector, across all lines in both life and non-life markets -mirroring the improvements in the economy in general," Fitch said in its Turkey special report "The Turkish Insurance Sector".

In the report, the rating agency said that the major overhaul in terms of market shares, change of ownership and regulatory framework, currently taking place in Turkey, will "gradually" put the Turkish insurance sector on the path to sustained growth.

The Turkish sector is getting more competitive with the entrance of foreign companies whose presence is increasing, the report added. As of the third quarter 2006, foreign ownership in the sector's total paid up capital had reached 27%.