Dutch financial services giant ING Group has concluded a “strategic alliance” with Greece’s Piraeus Bank which will enlarge its operations in the country, and give it a firm base for further expansion in the region.
The two companies announced agreement on the following measures:
* The creation of joint ventures in the fields of bancassurance, employee benefits and asset management, owned 50.1% by ING and 49.9% by Piraeus Bank.
* Cross shareholdings, whereby Piraeus Bank will take a 20% stake in ING’s insurance operations in Greece, while ING will take a 5% stake in Piraeus Bank. * Piraeus Bank absorbing the activities of ING Bank Greece.
ING’s presence in the Greek insurance market is already well established with 300 branches and 2,500 agents. The agreement with Piraeus gives the company further opportunities to increase its market share through bancassurance and other cross-selling arrangements.
The announcement stated that, “All joint ventures and all joint venture products will be co-branded as ‘ING (lion) Piraeus’ and will be sold through ING Greece’s agency network, the Piraeus Bank branches and through a dedicated sales force (to be formed).” They will also cooperate in the management and promotion of mutual funds.
“Both partners have also agreed to jointly explore possibilities in other countries in south-east Europe, such as Bulgaria and Turkey,” the announcement concluded.