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Romanian regulator approves ERGO deal

unit on April 4received the required regulatory approval from the Romanian FSA to local insurerCredit Europe AsigurariReasigurari SA.

"Theentry of an investor of such caliber in the general insurance market [ofRomania] confirms the positive direction of developments taking place inRomanian insurance," the regulator said in a statement issued the same day.

Thetakeover is Romania's first general-insurance deal involving a high-profileinternational investor since the start of the financial crisis, the FSA added.It also noted that the move marks the first step in ERGO's expansion in thelocal auto insurance sector.

TheFSA said ERGO would buy 100% of the shares in Credit Europe AsigurariReasigurari through its subsidiary ERGO Austria International AG.

ERGOstarted investing in Romania in 2009, through the life business , theFSA said. The regulator added that ERGO was one of three global insurersinterested in purchasing troubled Astra Asigurari but pulled out after Astra shareholdersmade "unreasonable demands."