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EXCLUSIVE: CSSPP rejected the BCR - OMNIASIG deal to merge their mandatory pension funds

ROMANIA, EXCLUSIVE. CSSPP, Romania's private pensions supervisory authority, voted against the deal proposed by BCR Leasing and OMNIASIG Pensions, in which BCR Leasing was going to buy OMNIASIG's shares, with the ultimate goal to merge the mandatory private pension funds (2nd pillar pensions) managed by BCR and OMNIASIG - CSSPP confirmed exclusively for, after an official inquiry made by our webportal. OMNIASIG Pensions manages the 10th largest mandatory pension fund on the Romanian market, with a market share of aprox. 1,5%.

On 25th of July 2008, Romanian financial group BCR (part of Austrian group ERSTE Bank) announced it was willing to buy the shares of OMNIASIG Pensions (owned indirectly by VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP) using BCR Leasing (instead of BCR Pensions) as a vehicle for the deal because of legislative issues.

But the CSSPP's board rejected the transaction invoking inadequacies between the procedures proposed by the two parties and current legislation, that forbids a pension company to manage or control more than a single mandatory private pensions fund at a time. CSSPP's vote is final and thus the two parties involved in the deal are obliged to find another legal solution to finally merge their mandatory pension funds. The decision was communicated by CSSPP to the two parties, but the parties could not be reached in time by for more comments (to be continued). The deal between BCR and OMNIASIG was the first one of its kind officially announced on the Romanian mandatory private pensions market.

Romania's mandatory private pensions market consists of 14 funds, a total number of participants of 4.5 million (out of which 3.9 million are active) and an estimated figure of assets under management of about 190 EUR million at the end of November 2008. The market is expected to top assets under management of about 25 - 30 EUR billions until 2020.


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