Monday, February 16, 2015 - 10:35
Dutch gov. sells Reaal to Chinese insurance firm
The Dutch state is selling its shares in the insurer Vivat (formerly Reaal) to the Chinese insurer Anbang for 150 million euro. Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance informed the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) of the sale today. In addition to the 150 million euro, Anbang is spending some 1.3 billion euros on strengthening the balance and repaying internal loans within the SNS Reaal group, NU reports. De Nederlandsche Bank and the supervisor of the Chinese insurance industry still have to approve the sale. The deal could also still be called off if Vivat's financial position deteriorates sharply in the first half of this year. Vivat's acquisition price is well below the book value of 2.4 billion euros, which means that the sale will result in a significant loss for SNS Reaal. It was therefore decided to remove the banking company from holding and put it directly under the State, to prevent the company ending up in financial trouble because of the sale. According to Dijsselbloem, this in fact means that the State is buying SNS Bank from holding at market value, which is estimated at 2.7 billion euros. According to Dijsselbloem, the sale is good news for the millions of people who have policies with Vivat. "The company is saved and the Chinese are putting a lot of new money into it." the Minister said, according to NU. "That means that the four thousand employees gain have a future and the millions of policyholders can expect an eventual payout with much more certainty." Vivat manages a total of 6 million policies. During the sale, a 700 million euros accounting error in the late 90's came to light. It is unclear why this error was not found when SNS Reaal was nationalized in February 2013 and why it was not spotted by the auditors or by DNB. According to Dijsselbloem, the error is now under investigation.