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Thu 12 Mar 2020 04:03 PM

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Oman Insurance said to mull bid for Axa's Middle East ops

Sources say company is working with Barclays as it weighs potential offer for Axa business

Oman Insurance said to mull bid for Axa's Middle East ops

Oman Insurance Company is considering making a bid for the Middle Eastern operations of French insurer Axa, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company that’s backed by Dubai-based bank Mashreq is working with Barclays as it weighs a potential offer for the business, which provides life, property and health insurance, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

No final decisions have been made and other suitors may also bid for the unit, the people said.

Representatives for Axa and Barclays declined to comment, while a representative for Oman Insurance didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Axa CEO Thomas Buberl is moving to streamline the insurer’s operations by retreating from less profitable markets and pulling back from life insurance.

The company, which is working with HSBC Holdings on its strategic review in the Middle East, sold its operations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to Austria’s Uniqa Insurance Group in February.

Oman Insurance operates 12 branches in the United Arab Emirates and has businesses in Oman and Turkey. The company posted AED3.6 billion ($980 million) in revenue and a net income of AED190.5 million last year, according to its annual report.

Jean-Louis Laurent Josi became chief executive officer of Oman Insurance in 2018 after spending 12 years working at Axa.

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