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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Aspis Cyprus safe from clampdown in Greece ]

Aspis Cyprus safe from clampdown in Greece

Aspis Cyprus safe from clampdown in Greece
-- Greek authorities revoke licenses of 5 Aspis insurance companies --
September 25, 2009 -

-- Greek authorities revoke licenses of 5 Aspis insurance companies --

Aspis Liberty Life Insurance Public Company Ltd (LIB) announced that it is not affected by the decision of the Greek insurance watchdog to revoke the operating licenses of five insurance companies – Aspis Pronoia, Aspis Life Insurance, Aspis General Insurance, General Union, General Trust and G.H. Skourtis Insurance – after the five failed to cover the necessary credibility margins.
“The activities of Aspis Liberty Life do not depend on the aforementioned Greek insurance companies and are under the supervision of the Cypriot Insurance Companies Control Service of the Ministry of Finance,” the company said.
Aspis Pronoia AEGA and Aspis Pronoia AEAZ participate in the share capital of LIB with 7.21% and 1.06%, respectively.
George Constantinou, General Manager of Aspis Holdings (ASP), has also maintained that while the operations of the Cyprus company will not be affected, there will be a negative impact on the results of the Group.
The direct shareholding stake of the five affected companies in Aspis is reported to be 19.4%, which will now be confiscated by the Greek authorities and end up in the hands of other shareholders. It is not yet clear what will happen to the controlling stake held by Group Chairman Pavlos Psomiades.
However, there will be a loss of EUR 5.5 mln as regards Commercial Value of which some EUR 2.7 mln will be reflected in the results of Aspis Holdings.
“This is most certainly a negative development but we shall overcome the situation,” said Constantinou.

Greece’s insurance watchdog on Monday announced it was permanently revoking the operating licenses of the five insurance companies after they failed to meet their financial obligations towards their customers and employees. The watchdog also said that Pavlos Psomiadis, chairman and chief executive of Aspis Insurance Group, presented a letter of guarantee worth EUR 550 mln by HSBC which proved to be fake.
The Private Insurance Supervisory Commission said that according to Greek law, a supplementary fund has been set up to cover all five insurance companies’ customers for 30 days, while a Supervisor of Life Insurance Portfolio will take over the management of Aspis Life Insurance to ensure that customers maintained their contract rights and money saved.
The watchdog also revoked the licenses of General Union, General Trust and Scourtis Insurance company.

Aspis Bank, in which Pavlos Psomiadis and some of the affected insurance companies hold a 67% stake, is reported not to be affected by the move since according to reliable sources, the bank’s Tier 1 capital exceeds the safety minimum of 8% while a share capital increase has been put forward.
Aspis Bank is reportedly looking to boost its capital by EUR 120 mln, according to the bank’s General Manager Christos Sorotos who was recently in London drumming up interest.
The fact that Aspis Pronoia will not be able pay its share of EUR 80 mln in the forthcoming share capital increase is expected to be taken up by new strategic investors.

(Source: Financial Mirror,

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