Allianz acts over cartel complaints

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The Independent Online
FRANKFURT (Reuter) - Allianz, Europe's largest insurer, launched a move yesterday to resolve a dispute with German's cartel office over an equity stake in Dresdner Bank.

Allianz said it and its fellow insurer Munich Re had decided to reshuffle their equity portfolios to counter cartel office allegations that Allianz dominated the German life insurance market.

'We want to achieve an agreement (with the office), we want to meet them halfway . . . (it is) a gesture,' an Allianz spokeswoman said.

In Berlin the cartel office said it would have to assess the impact of the reshuffling of the equity stakes by Allianz and Munich Re before it reviewed its opinion on Allianz's 22.3 per cent stake in Dresdner, Germany's second largest bank.

A cartel office spokesman said his office would examine the new situation first. The authority's objections to Allianz's Dresdner stake still centred on its dominance of the insurance market.

The reshuffling focuses on the life and health insurance sectors. While Allianz takes a majority stake in DKV, Munich Re will take control of the life companies Hamburg-Mannheimer, Karlsruher Lebensversicherung and Berlinische Lebensversicherung.