Features

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Energy companies fuel revenuerev-up in SEE TOP 100 ranking

In a year marked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the biggest attack on a European country since WWII – traditional geopolitical alignments and economic trajectories were thrown off kilter, not least in front-line Southeast European states, whose energy sectors had historically been heavily dependent on Russia. With energy security and diversification taking precedence, it comes as no surprise that 2022 was a blockbuster year for petroleum and natural gas, and electricity companies.

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Grain imports from Ukraine upset SEE markets

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 trapped approximately 20 million tonnes of grain in Ukrainian ports. Given Ukraine’s critical role both as a major producer and exporter of key agricultural products, global food supply chains faced immense pressure and food prices soared. As a result, a series of measures were taken to alleviate the impact of Russian blockages on Ukrainian grain exports. In May 2022, the European Commission (EC) launched the Solidarity Lanes Action Plan to establish alternative logistics routes. A month later, the EU lifted tariffs on imports from Ukraine for twelve months, with the moratorium being extended for an additional year in April 2023.

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Top SEE insurers’ premium growth slows down

The gross written premiums (GWP) of the top insurers in Southeast Europe continued to expand, though at a slower pace than a year earlier amid high inflation, a slowdown in economic activity and geopolitical uncertainties. Profit growth too decelerated, following a robust double-digit increase a year earlier. Nevertheless, the sector remained stable and resilient.

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SEE top insurers book double-digit growth in profit, GWP

The top one hundred insurers in Southeastern Europe (SEE) saw both their net profit and gross written premiums (GWP) grow in double digits in 2021, despite persisting challenges related to the coronavirus crisis and low interest rates. Their combined net profit rose by 26% to 599 million euro in 2021, from 475 million euro in 2020 and 497 million euro in 2019, outpacing the increase in GWP. Only eight of the top insurers closed the year in the red, while 38 recorded a decline in profits. In 2021, SEE’s biggest insurers registered 9.675 billion euro in GWP, 11.65% higher on the year and above the 8.8 billion-euro levels registered by the entrants in the ranking in 2019. Just nine insurers reported a decline in their GWPs in 2021.