KHAZ­ANAH Na­sional Bhd’s Turk­ish unit plans to hive off its health-in­surance busi­ness, Aciba­dem Sig­orta, for US$300 mil­lion, as Ankara pushes for cheaper health in­surance.

New Straits Times - - BUSINESS -

AUNIT of Khaz­anah Na­sional Bhd plans to sell its Turk­ish health in­surance busi­ness to fo­cus on its home mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to three peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

Khaz­anah’s Avi­cen­nia Cap­i­tal hired Bar­clays Plc to man­age the dis­posal of its Is­tan­bul-based health, life and per­sonal ac­ci­dent provider, said two peo­ple.

Avi­cen­nia, which ex­pects as much as US$300 mil­lion (RM1.1 bil­lion) from the sale, will in­vite po­ten­tial in­vestors later this month, one per­son said.

The po­ten­tial sale of Aciba­dem Sig­orta, for­mally known as Aciba­dem Saglik ve Hayat Sig­orta AS, comes af­ter Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan last year pushed a range of mea­sures, in­clud­ing cheaper health in­surance and tax breaks, to bol­ster his sup­port and boost eco­nomic growth that slowed in the wake of July’s failed coup.

Turkey’s health in­surance pre­mi­ums in­creased 19 per cent to five bil­lion li­ras (RM5 bil­lion).

Bar­clays and Khaz­anah de­clined to com­ment, while calls to num­bers pro­vided on Aciba­dem Sig­orta’s web­site were not an­swered.

Aciba­dem Sig­orta is the largest health in­surer by pre­mi­ums in the coun­try af­ter Al­lianz SE, with an 18 per cent mar­ket share, ac­cord­ing to data from the Turk­ish As­so­ci­a­tion of In­surance Com­pa­nies.

Turkey’s in­surance in­dus­try has lured sev­eral in­ter­na­tional in­vestors over the past decade, in­clud­ing Aviva Plc, Cigna Corp., Ach­mea BV and Sompo Hold­ings Inc.

Avi­cen­nia, the in­surance hold­ing unit of Khaz­anah, bought 90 per cent of Aciba­dem Sig­orta for US$252 mil­lion in 2013 from founder Mehmet Ali Ay­din­lar and Abraaj Cap­i­tal Ltd.

It bought the re­main­der af­ter the com­pany stopped trad­ing its shares on Borsa Is­tan­bul.

In 2012, the sovereign wealth fund’s IHH Health­care Bhd unit bought 75 per cent of Aciba­dem Saglik Yatir­im­lari Hold­ing AS, then Turkey’s largest hos­pi­tal chain also founded by Ay­din­lar, in an ac­qui­si­tion that val­ued the busi­ness at US$1.68 bil­lion.

Khaz­anah Na­sional Bhd Khaz­anah unit, Avi­cen­nia Cap­i­tal, has hired Bar­clays Plc to man­age the dis­posal of its Is­tan­bul-based health, life and per­sonal ac­ci­dent provider, say sources.

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