Turkey's Yapi Kredi seen selling pension unit stake separately

ISTANBUL, Sept 20 Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:02pm EDT

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ISTANBUL, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Turkish lender Yapi Kredi is likely to sell a stake in the pension arm of its Yapi Kredi Sigorta insurance unit separately because the valuation of the business as a whole is proving too high, industry sources and analysts said on Friday.

Yapi Kredi, co-owned by Italy's biggest bank UniCredit , has been trying to sell Yapi Kredi Sigorta , which bankers say is valued at around 1.6 billion lira ($890 million), and said in June it was considering its options.

"The fact that pension unit is included in the company is making it a lot harder for Yapi Kredi to sell it," said one banking and insurance analyst.

"The pension unit is the real story in this sale."

Turkey's fast-growing and low-penetrated insurance market has become increasingly attractive to foreign insurers looking to diversify away from competitive and mature home markets where there is less chance for growth.

U.S. insurer Cigna Corp signed a deal in July to buy a 51 percent stake in Finansbank's wholly owned insurance unit Finans Emeklilik for 85 million euros ($110 million). ($1 = 1.7941 Turkish liras) ($1 = 0.7658 euros) (Writing by Seda Sezer and Seltem Iyigun)

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