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Turkish insurers could face government pressure over pricing in wake of coup

Turkey'sfast-growing insurance market is likely to avoid any significant directconsequences from the recent failed coup, although increasing governmentpressure over pricing presents some cause for concern, experts told S&PGlobal Market Intelligence.

DuygunKutucu, an analyst with Burgan Yatirim Menkul Degerler in Istanbul, saidTurkish authorities may look to cap prices that have risen sharply in thenonlife insurance market in a bid to tamp down popular discontent. Thesector-wide combined ratio, which measures claims as a percentage of premiums,was 121.2% in 2014.

Fourof the countries' five largest nonlife insurers by total premiums written havemajor foreign insurers as significant shareholders. The other insurer in thetop five — Anadolu Anonim TürkSigorta Sirketi — is controlled by , one of thecountry's biggest lenders.

OvuncGursoy, an analyst with Seker Investment in Istanbul, said Turkey's governmentwill be keen to keep foreign investors onside, including in the insuranceindustry.

"Mostof the foreign owners bring in capital, and if you do that you are treated likea king," he said.

ForTurkish life insurers, meanwhile, most sales are derived from term-lifecontracts sold by banks alongside loans, which Kutucu noted creates a directlink between growth in the two markets. Should lending growth slow amid theuncertain environment, therefore, life premiums could suffer as well.


Click here to read S&P Global Market Intelligence's country report on the Turkish insurance industry, and click here to see our profile page for Turkey.

Click here for a template providing key financial items and ratios for up to 10 global insurance companies across the U.S., EMEA and Asia-Pacific.