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Wiener Stadtische to expand in Romania


VIENNA, Austria— Wiener Stadtische Versicherung A.G. plans to increase its presence in the Romania's market by acquiring a majority share of SC Asigurarea Romaneasca Asirom S.A.

As a first step, the Vienna-based insurer assumed 30% percent of the shares on Tuesday from the current majority shareholder, Romanian Interagro S.A.

"This transaction allows us to further expand our commitment in our core market Romania," said Wiener Stadtische Chief Executive Officer Gunter Geyer in a statement.

Asirom earned about € 190 million in gross premiums in 2006. In the first quarter of 2007, the company, with a market share of some 11% in the non-life segment and some 8% in the life insurance business, ranks third on the overall Romanian insurance market, according to Wiener Stadtische.

Wiener Stadtische currently has four companies in Romania: Omniasig Life and Non-Life, Unita and the agricultural insurer Agras.