Surgutneftegaz is trying to sell its insurer

The oil company is trying to find a buyer for its insurance business for almost two years.
Surgutneftegaz is trying to sell its subsidiary Surgutneftegaz, told Vedomosti three people who know about it from the insurer's employees. The insurance company Surgutneftegaz was trying to sell about 1.5 years ago, says one of the interlocutors. Then the negotiations were conducted with several different interests, he adds. Among them was Sogaz, with whom negotiations were held even before the change of leadership (in March 2016, Anton Ustinov was replaced at the post of Sergei Ivanov's presidency), the former employee of Sogaz knows. Before detailed discussions of the deal it did not come, says another former employee of Sogaz.

From the first time it was not possible to sell JS "Surgutneftegaz": the value of the company was overstated, its shareholder "did not adequately assess the value," explains one of Vedomosti's interlocutors.

In 2017, Surgutneftegaz returned to the idea of ​​selling an insurance "daughter": at the end of the year, representatives of the insurer asked analysts to assess its value, how much you can get for its sale, another interlocutor of Vedomosti knows. The representative of the insurance company Surgutneftegaz declined to comment, the representative of the parent NK asked Vedomosti to leave the request unanswered, as did the representative of Sogaz.

The insurance company Surgutneftegaz works primarily in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District (Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District), insures mainly the corporate sector, the Expert RA agency points out, the only agency rating the company, which in May confirmed its reliability rating, ruA +. "Surgutneftegaz" in 2017, collected 3 billion rubles. premiums - 51st place among a little more than 200 insurers, follows from data of the Central Bank.

The sale of the insurance company Surgutneftegaz can be explained by its lack of strategic development plans on the open market, and the shareholder can view it as a non-core asset, said deputy director of the rating group ACRA Evgeny Sharapov. It is extremely difficult to compete in retail types without a broad regional presence and advanced IT solutions, says Anastasia Litvinova, director of the insurance analytical group Fitch. At the end of 2017, Surgutneftegaz had only seven branches, it follows from its accounts. The desire to sell the company may be dictated by tightening regulation in insurance: a disproportionately large burden of compliance costs for small companies is created, Litvinova argues.

At the beginning of the year a number of subsidiaries of NK Surgutneftegaz, including insurance, fell under US sanctions. This "does not add value to the company," says Pavel Samiev, Managing Director of the NRA. Nevertheless, the asset may be of interest to one of the large companies - provided that after the transaction for the buyer the corporate business of the company will be preserved, first of all the guarantee to insure oil and gas risks of the shareholder, he says.

In recent years, the fees of the insurance company Surgutneftegaz and net profit have been declining. This is a consequence of the reduction in business coming from the parent company and other related persons, explains Sharapov. The company lost premiums on corporate programs of voluntary medical insurance, it carried out the rehabilitation of the auto hull portfolio, reduced contributions for the insurance of property of legal entities, adds Alexey Yanin, managing director for insurance and investment ratings "Expert RA". The profitability of SO "Surgutneftegas" in 2016-2017. fell, and primarily through insurance, Litvinova sums up.