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Reports: Rosgosstrakh mulls launch of life insurance ops

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Reports: Rosgosstrakh mulls launch of life insurance ops

Russian insurer PAO Rosgosstrakh, whose parent Otkritie Financial Corp. Bank was bailed out by the central bank in August 2017, plans to set up a life insurance unit, Vedomosti reported Feb. 13.

The insurer wants to develop life insurance in order to benefit from the rapid growth in this segment, the company's representative told the newspaper.

Rosgosstrakh currently offers its clients life insurance products via LLC Insurance Co. Rosgosstrakh - Life. The two companies used to have the same owners until the acquisition of Rosgosstrakh by Otkritie Bank, Vedomosti noted. One of the options considered by Rosgosstrakh and Otkritie for the launch of the life insurance business is to purchase Rosgosstrakh Life from its current owners, although building a separate life insurance unit from scratch is also under consideration, news agency TASS said the same day, citing market sources.

Other Russian insurers have also been eyeing the life insurance segment, with JSC Russian Agricultural Bank's insurance unit getting a relevant license in January and BCS Financial Group registering a life insurance unit earlier in February and gathering documents to apply for a license, Vedomosti said.

The value of life insurance premiums collected in Russia during the first nine months of 2017 reached 229.4 billion Russian rubles, up 56.8% year over year, and is expected to reach 300 billion rubles for full-year 2017, the newspaper noted.

As of Feb. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 57.77 Russian rubles.