World Finance speaks to Dominique Uzel, International Managing Director at insurance and pension firm Groupama, about the group’s entry into the Turkish market and its plans for the region
What is Groupama’s background? Groupama, formed by farmers under agricultural mutuals, is one of the most well-established insurance companies in Europe. Founded in France in the 19th century as an agricultural insurer, the company has continued its op...
The general insurance market may be booming in plenty of economies, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to the effects of sovereign default, says Martin Morris
Just like other financial sectors, general insurance isn’t immune to the threat posed by sovereign default risk or the risk of a severe downgrade in a specific country – especially those companies with substantial direct exposure to government debt, o...
The Dominican Republic has been rocked by earthquakes, tropical storms and financial crises over the years, but insurance companies such as Seguros Banreservas have endured the ups and downs and emerged stronger
Until 1979, Dominicans did not believe in insurance. Hurricane David changed that, leaving in its wake damage and destruction, but also a precious lesson that would shape the local insurance company for years to come. David highlighted how the Caribbean n...
Komerční Pojišťovna is leading the way in the Czech Republic’s growing insurance industry, supported by its relationships with other financial institutions
Since the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia into two new states, the Czech Republic has steadily grown into one of the most developed and affluent countries in Eastern Europe. Modest GDP growth of 1.7 percent in the last year does not reflect the stabilisation...
One of Taiwan’s strongest life insurers has branched out into Vietnam, and is planning to begin expansion into other Asian regions
After receiving World Finance’s award for Best Insurance Company in Taiwan, 2012, Fubon Life intends to enhance its already-impressive services. In 2012, in addition to its localised services, Fubon also made an effort to enhance efficiency by introduci...
One year after Thailand was submerged by deadly floods in one of the costliest natural disasters of all time, Viriyah Insurance has become a beacon of light, rallying the local insurance industry
Noah had to build an ark to escape the flooding after 40 days and nights of incessant rain. The Thai population endured over four times that last year, as rain pounded the region for 175 days during monsoon season. Of the country’s 77 provinces, 65 were...
Since 1969, Interamerican has been one of Greece’s leading insurance companies. Its work in IT-based business practices and mobile technology is singling it out from the competition
Interamerican is a member of ACHMEA Group, one of the largest and most powerful financial groups in Europe, and is the first true multichannel insurer in Greece. The company is recognised as a pioneer in service technology, delivering high value services ...
Kuwait-based insurer GIC is making the most of its strong affiliations and pushing the country’s insurance industry to new heights
Gulf Insurance Company KSC (GIC) was established in 1962. GIC is a public shareholding company listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange and a market leader in Kuwait in terms of premiums written, both in life and non-life insurance. GIC is currently the larges...
The Middle Eastern insurance market is increasingly competitive, but there is still plenty of room for success. Medgulf, a veteran in the field, has been an active contributor to the growth of the industry
In the Middle East, increasing wealth and a youthful population has led to a boom in those seeking to mitigate risk through insurance, and governments have been keen to reign in what was, until recently, an unregulated industry. Medgulf is an insurance pr...
With an expanding client base and regional and international recognition, Serbia’s fastest-growing insurance company has many reasons to celebrate
In only five years of operation, UNIQA Insurance Serbia has managed to become one of the five leading companies in the insurance industry, achieving the highest growth margin among all of the insurance companies in Serbia. Half a decade of constant progre...
Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, one of the country’s leading insurers, is broadening the scope of its portfolio to include areas such as healthcare and hospitality
It is 50 years since Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) began its journey on the island nation as a pioneer in the domestic insurance sector. Then, the company’s main aim was taking the concept of insurance to the rural masses of the country, and to...
Peru has been growing at a remarkable rate, and Rimac Seguros, the country’s leading insurance provider, supports its clients now more than ever
The Peruvian economy has grown 6.47 percent in May, and year-on-year. The country might be less prolific than its South American neighbours in success, but when it comes to healthy growth, it should not be overlooked. The economy has been expanding at a r...
Since it implemented risk management and a new focus on corporate governance, the growth of PT Asuransi Jiwasraya’s (Persero) income reached IDR 394bn at the …
Since it implemented risk management and a new focus on corporate governance, the growth of PT Asuransi Jiwasraya’s (Persero) income reached IDR 394bn at the end of 2011. Its average premium growth is over 30 percent per year, equity has grown up to 39 ...
As the shipping industry looks as ominous as ever, insurers are weighing up whether or not the business could be worth the risk
The Chinese Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association and the Japanese Ship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association are the largest insurers for ships in their countries. Both of these companies are re-insured through London’s International Gro...
Insurance companies are still trying to come to grips with lifestyle incentive packages in order to attract a larger customer base
According to a representative for corporate giant Walmart, smokers use 25 percent more healthcare services than non-smokers. In an attempt to curb these rising costs, many employers and insurance companies have begun offering incentive programmes for empl...
European countries are scrambling to raise every last penny of funds through taxes. But some countries may have gone too far...
Though all business taxes in Belgium can be paid online with little effort and preparation, the rates are still sky-high at 57.7 percent, including a staggering 50.8 percent total rate on profits only in social security contributions.
In Belarus, a company spends up to 338 hours annually preparing for and paying ten different taxes and duties. The total tax rate has incredibly been lowered to 60.7 percent, from 117.5 percent in 2008.
A company in France pays seven different taxes and duties, the sum of which can amount to 65.7 percent of profits; though President François Hollande has announced a wave of business tax rate cuts coming up.
A business in Estonia pays 67.3 percent of profits in tax, 37.2 percent exclusively in social security contributions. The country has gone against the grain in Europe by raising businesses taxes from 48.6 percent in 2008 to the current rates.
While corporate income tax (IRES) in Italy is limited to 38 percent of taxable profit, a company operating in Italy can expect to pay 14 other taxes and duties, including social security contributions, bringing their total payable tax to 68.7 percent of profits, according to the World Bank.
Norway taxes motor fuels twice, with a road use tax and a CO2 emissions tax. Combined with strikes in the energy sector that have curbed output, the price of gas at a local pump has soared to $10.12 per gallon.
Though Turkey sits on the Suez Canal and neighbours many oil rich countries, the price of a gallon of average gas clocks in at $9.41 in Turkish pumps, because of a 60 percent share of taxes.
Like Turkey, Israel is surrounded by oil-rich neighbours, but drills very little itself. Gas prices are controlled by the government, so about half of the $9.28 per gallon goes to taxes.
There are few gas stations in Hong Kong, but the ones available charge up to 76 percent more per gallon than mainland China, where the government caps the cost of fuel. A gallon at the pumps will cost around $8.61 on the island.
Expensive labour costs make the Dutch petrol prices the dearest in Europe, at $8.26 per gallon; though the 57 percent tax add-ons don’t help.
8 February 2007
HSBC warns of subprime mortgage losses
2 April 2007
New Century goes bus
14 September 2007
Wholesale markets have dried up
17 March 2008
Rescue of Bear Stearns
7 September 2008
Rescue of Fannie Mae
15 September 2008
Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy
3 October 2008
US congress approves $700bn bailout
14 February 2009
$787bn stimulus approved by congress
The effects of the current financial crisis are global and irrefutable. With the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the domino effect of irresponsible public monetary policies, huge levels of unsustainable debt, and a deregulated financial sector, has escalated to the point where no corner of the globe has been left untouched.
Syria and Egypt launch an attack on Israel on Yom Kippur and set off a twenty day war;
US President Carter creates Department of Energy, which develops the US strategic petroleum reserve
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used their oil reserves as a weapon with the Arab Oil Embargo against those who supported Israel. By January 1974, world oil prices were four times higher than they were at the start of the crisis, especially in the US, and the shock led to a huge drop in the stock market with NYSE losing $97bn in just six weeks. The embargo lasted five months, and the effects are still seen today.
1923 – 1924
The trouble began when Germany missed a repatriation payment, worth about one third of the German deficit in this period. Inflation was already high but by 1923 it was raging. Prices doubled within hours, and by late 1923, it cost 200bn marks to buy a single loaf of bread. People burned money as it was cheaper than buying firewood. Germany eventually regained control of its economy when it introduced the Rentenmark into circulation in 1923, and then the Reichmark in 1924.
The Great Crash
Recovery and Recession
After the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, the 1930s saw the biggest economic slump of all time. The stock market crashed on 29 October 1929, and optimism and decadent living tumbled along with the figures. The GDP fell from $103.6bn in 1929, to $66bn in 1934 and the subsequent years of recovery were the most dramatic in US history.
Otto Heinze and his brother Augustus Heinze bought shares of United Copper.
The stock market was already cautious over the tight money supply, but the US was thrown into a depression after the stock market fell nearly 50 percent from its peak in 1906. The Heinze brothers thought they could influence market shares but ended up bankrupting lenders that provided the financing to buy the stock. A chain reaction left nine institutions bankrupt. By February 1908, the panic was over and the government created the Federal Reserve system, to prevent banks from exercising too much control over the economy.