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AXA open to acquisitions in Brazil

AXA is willing to further grow its presence in Brazilvia acquisitions and expects the country's insurance sector to expand 10% in2016 despite a steep economic recession, Bloomberg News reported, citingPhilippe Jouvelot, president of the French insurer's Brazilian subsidiary.

Acquisition opportunities in Brazil are cheaper given thatthe Brazilian real has lost approximately 30% of its value since AXA's 2013entry into the country, while higher-than-anticipated interest rates have alsostrengthened financial profits, the executive said in an interview.

"If we can trust that Brazil's economy can recover twoto three years from now, then investing now is the best thing you can do,"Jouvelot was quoted as saying. "Everything we buy is 30% cheaper than weexpected."

AXA, which expects to book 500 million reais in premiumsfrom Brazil in 2016, believes it can grow its market share in the country sinceonly 25% of the local population has health insurance and just 10% hashomeowner coverage, Jouvelot noted.

As of May 6, US$1 wasequivalent to 3.54 Brazilian reais.