Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Tower's Stiassny takes swipe at IAG’s Lumley acquisition

Tower chairman Stiassny takes swipe at IAG’s Lumley acquisition

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Tower chairman Michael Stiassny took a swipe at Australian rival Insurance Australia Group’s bid to buy Wesfarmers’ trans-Tasman underwriting businesses, saying the market dominance creates “significant risk.”

IAG has sought clearance from Australasian antitrust regulators to buy the WFI and Lumley Insurance brands as well as a 10-year distribution agreement with Coles for A$1.85 billion, something Tower’s Stiassny says is of concern to the wider industry.

“We are pleased the Commerce Commission is taking a close look at the proposed IAG acquisition of Lumley, given the implications for New Zealand, the insurance industry and consumers,” he said in speech notes to today’s annual meeting published on the NZX. “We believe there is significant risk from one business controlling two-thirds of the personal lines market, if New Zealand was to suffer another event on the scale of Canterbury.”

IAG, which operates the State, NZI and Lantern brands, grabbed more of the New Zealand market in 2012 when it bought assets of AMI for $380 million after its local rival was forced to seek a financial lifeline from the government when the Canterbury earthquakes drained its reserves.

On the proposed Lumley acquisition, the Commerce Commission has said it will look at whether the tie-up will damp competition in personal and commercial insurance products in home and contents, car, boats, commercial property, liability and marine cargo. A decision is due on March 28.

Tower chief executive David Hancock today told shareholders in Auckland industry consolidation continues to be a long-term theme, and that the insurer “is prepared to participate in this trend where we can add value for shareholders.”

The insurer has scaled back its operations to largely general insurance having sold the bulk of its life business to Fidelity Assurance and its investment arm to Fisher Funds. Tower looked at the AMI business on the block in 2011, and made a hostile takeover bid for Fidelity in 2010.

Shareholders approved today’s resolutions, which included amending the company’s constitution to trim the size of its board.

The shares were unchanged at $1.75 today.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Policy Statement: Spending Wins Over Tax Cuts; Big Ticket Items Get Boost

Income tax cuts are on hold as the government says “responding to the earthquakes and reducing debt are currently of higher priority”, although election year tax sweeteners remain possible. More>>

ALSO:

Fishy: Is Whitebaiting Sustainable?

The whitebait fry - considered a delicacy by many - are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability of the whitebait fishery and whether we're doing enough to monitor the five species of galaxiid that make up whitebait. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Smaller-Than-Expected Four-Month Deficit

The New Zealand government's accounts recorded a smaller-than-forecast deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year on a higher-than-expected inflow of corporate and goods and services tax. More>>

ALSO:

On For Christmas: KiwiRail Ferries Back In Full Operation After Quake

KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries are back in full operation for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake, with the railspan that allows rail wagons to be loaded on the Aratere now restored. More>>

ALSO:

Comerce Commission Investigation: Prosecutions Over Steel Mesh Labelling

Steel & Tube Holdings, along with two other companies, will be prosecuted by the Commerce Commission following the regulator's investigation into seismic steel mesh, while Fletcher Building's steel division has been given a warning. More>>

ALSO:

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news