Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services has entered into an agreement to acquire the majority stake in OOO NASTA Insurance Company in Russia. As a result, Zurich will become the largest foreign general insurer in the Russian market.

<p>The deal will entitle Zurich to a 66% share in the Russian personal lines insurer, as well as an agreement to a 100% ownership by 2010. Both parties have agreed to keep the purchase price undisclosed. <br /><br />Having been active in the Russian market for 10 years, the acquisition will extend Zurich&#0039;s distribution platform in Europe&#0039;s fastest growing market. <br /><br />In line with our growth strategy this acquisition adds substantial distribution capacity and allows Zurich to leverage its efficient pan-European operating platform, said Dieter Wemmer, CEO of Zurich&#0039;s Europe general insurance business division. It represents an important step in our drive to be the leading pan-European insurer in our chosen markets.<br /><br />The acquisition will operate within Zurich&#0039;s recently established central and eastern Europe business unit in Vienna, to be managed jointly with Zurich&#0039;s existing operations in Russia. <br /><br />The transaction is anticipated to close in the first six months of 2007, subject to Russian regulatory approvals.</p>