Health service and insurance provider Cigna has inked an agreement to buy 51% stake in Finans Emeklilik, in Turkey through in-branch banking channels, forming a joint venture (JV) with Finansbank to market life and pension products in the country.

Cigna will acquire the stake in Finans for almost EUR85m and also sign a long term distribution agreement to sell life and pension products in Turkey, which is one of the world’s fastest growing and least penetrated insurance markets, Cigna said.

Under the distribution agreement, Finansbank will collect commissions on the sale of life, pension and accident products through its retail branch network and other distribution channels and also participate in results of the venture as a continuing shareholder in Finans Emeklilik.

The JV will enable Finansbank’s 10 million customers to buy innovative life insurance and pension products in Turkey.

Cigna International Health life and accident CEO Jason Sadler said with its expanding population, growing GDP, and low insurance penetration, Turkey is an ideal market for Cigna’s innovative product offering that helps customers improve their health, well-being and sense of security.

"Cigna’s unique agreement with Finansbank builds upon the strengths of both companies and aligns our interests to create an effective, long-term relationship that serves the protection needs of Finansbank’s 10 million customers," Sadler added.

Finansbank runs over 500 retail banking branches across Turkey, which is regarded as the fifth-largest privately owned bank in terms of assets in the country.