10 per cent equity participation in the newly founded Polish life insurer Heros Zycie S.A. alongside Wiener Staedtische Allgemeine Versicherung AG (WS), Austria, as the main sponsor. The project aims to establish a life insurance company in Poland, which will provide life insurance and voluntary pensions products.
The project is expected to have an impact on the transition process by increasing competition in the life insurance sector. It will also raise industry standards by making use of know-how from Austria and other countries in central and eastern Europe where the sponsor has insurance subsidiaries.
Heros Zycie S.A. (life insurance), Poland, will be 90 per cent owned by Wiener Staedtische Allgemeine Versicherung AG, Austria, and 10 per cent owned by the EBRD.
The Bank’s total commitment for this project amounts to PLN 4 million (EUR 0.96 million).
The total project cost is envisaged to amount to PLN 40 million (EUR 9.6 million).
Life-insurers do not represent an environmental risk per se, as they only offer financial products to individuals. WS is a signatory to the UNEP Statement of Environmental Commitment by the Insurance Industry, which commits signatories to include environmental risk management in their core activities, and to take environmental considerations into account in their asset management and internal operations.
Heros Zycie’s investment operations can be classified as low environmental risk, as Polish life insurers are restricted by the local regulatory authorities in terms of their investment policy. Generally, financial assets will be invested in local government bonds, bank deposits and, to a small extent, in local blue chips. Heros Zycie is required to comply with the EBRD’s Environmental Exclusion List in all its investment and insurance operations.
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