The bounce in FBD’s share price has outlasted the denial by Protector Forsikring of Norway that its purchase of a 6.3% stake in the market is the precursor to a bid.
FBD shares closed last Tuesday at €6.92 but by Thursday afternoon had climbed to €7.88 and they are trading at €7.82 as we go to print on Wednesday.
Protector is not one of the international insurance giants.
Its market capitalisation is about three times that of FBD’s €250m, compared to Kerry, the agribusiness heavyweight on the Irish exchange, which is 78 times’ the size, or Glanbia, 19 times’ the size.
FBD is the only listed Irish insurance company and it looks likely to remain independent for now
But FBD is a significant player in the general (non-life) insurance business here, with an overall share in premium income of around 10%.
Three companies are bigger, Allianz, Axa and Aviva, and some others such as AIG, Liberty, RSA, and Zurich are not far behind.
FBD is the only listed Irish insurance company and it looks likely to remain independent for now. But the financial services industry around Europe is in a consolidation phase, as seen in Ireland with the possible acquisition of Ulster Bank assets by AIB and of KBC assets by Bank of Ireland.
The FBD company has recruited a new shareholder but could attract an actual acquirer in due course.