ING Group has received a license to start life insurance operations in Bulgaria. The business will be operated as a branch of ING's existing life insurance company in Hungary and will be officially launched on April 19.

The life insurance branch will be located in Sofia and headed by Nikolay Stoykov, who will combine this responsibility with his current position as general manager of ING’s Bulgarian pension fund.

The start of the Bulgarian life operation is a fine example of regional synergy, said Tom Kliphuis, CEO for central Europe at ING. By combining the existing resources and know-how of ING’s pension fund activities in Bulgaria with the product, actuarial, distribution and financial expertise of our Hungarian life company, we will be able to make a swift and efficient start.

The launch of life insurance operations in Bulgaria expands ING’s footprint in central Europe and is in line with ING’s strategy to further develop existing operations in the region into sustainable businesses in maturing markets.