The economic policy framework of the European Monetary Union was strengthened in 2012, but the possibility of setbacks cannot be fully excluded. The structural reform process in certain countries (e.g. Italy) is not yet complete, and political upheaval could lead to a renewed loss of confidence among the markets in 2013. However, systemic risk in the euro zone is likely to have reduced over the past year. The prevailing mood at the start of the year is that of optimism for a global economic upturn in 2013. The emerging economies will remain the global growth drivers. Expansionary fiscal policy may help to boost economic activity. Following stabilisation in the euro zone, an economic upturn should also benefit the CEE region in the second half of the year.
UNIQA is anticipating growth in its health insurance business in particular in 2013. Property and motor vehicle insurance are expected to see a positive trend. UNIQA is forecasting stable demand in the life insurance segment. In 2013, UNIQA will work towards achieving a sustainable improvement in profitability across all insurance sectors.
Experts expect the CEE markets to continue to significantly outperform the euro zone over the coming years in terms of economic growth. Although the sustained recession in the euro zone will continue to influence growth in CEE, Eastern Europe is expected to see a general economic recovery in 2013. Economists are forecasting positive economic growth for all of the markets in the region except Slovenia, which is dealing with a crisis in its banking sector. Momentum will be provided by domestic demand in particular, including as a result of the relaxation of restrictive austerity policies in some countries.
The Polish economy is set to develop positively in 2013, although the growth forecast is slightly lower than for the last two years. In addition to robust domestic demand, the country benefits from its proximity to strong export markets such as Germany, among other things. The export-oriented automotive industry is expected to provide further impetus for growth in Slovakia in 2013. In Southeastern Europe, the forthcoming accession of Croatia to the EU and the recognition of Serbia and Montenegro as candidate states are likely to provide positive momentum in the region in the medium term. Russia and Ukraine are expected to see significantly stronger economic growth in 2013 than in the previous year.
UNIQA’s aim is to sustainably outperform the market in terms of growth in CEE – with a focus on profitability and value. We will continue to pursue this approach in 2013.
We have set ourselves the target of achieving a further improvement in 2013 profit on ordinary activities compared with 2012. This assumes that the capital market environment will be stable, that economic development will continue to improve and that losses caused by natural disasters will remain within a normal range.