Fairfax financial continues to expand its business operations in Europe
Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited announced its agreement to acquire the insurance of operations of QBE Management (Ireland) Limited in Ukraine.
According to Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial, QBE’s Ukrainian operations and team will join Fairfax Eastern Europe business unit following the acquisition. Peter Csav is the president of the business unit.
Fairfax Financial expands footprint in Eastern Europe
“QBE has a very strong presence in the Ukrainian insurance sector, and this is a terrific opportunity for us to expand our operations in the region and continue to build Fairfax Eastern Europe’s profitable businesses over the long-term,” said Watsa.
QBE Management established its insurance business in Ukraine in 1998. It is the first international insurer operating in the country. According to Fairfax Financial, the business has been consistently profitable for more than a decade.
Last year, QBE’s Ukrainian insures generated more than $5 million in profitable gross written premiums from difference general insurance classes including motor, property, marine, and general and product liability.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Fairfax Financial expects to close the transaction in the secon quarter of 2015.
Fairfax previously bought QBE’s European subsidiaries
Last December, Fairfax Financial acquired the subsidiaries of QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. The acquisitions were part of the insurance holding companies initiative to expand its footprint in the European region.
Fairfax Financial president Paul Rivett previously explained that the company purchased the QBE’s subsidiaries because of the limited competition in the insurance industry is the three countries.
Watsa believes India’s economy will grow more than 10%
Last November, Watsa established a $1 billion India-Focused Fund. He estimated that the Indian economy will grow more than 10% over the next few years.
According to him, “We need to open India and the economy up and let people come. I see unlimited opportunity. Education will be huge in India, we need more education. We believe India is going to have economic growth in excess of 10%.”