(Adds CFO comment, details; adds shares)
By Richa Naidu
May 8 Delta Lloyd NV expects to sell
more new mortgages this year, its chief financial officer said,
filling a void left by the retreat of credit-squeezed banks from
the mortgage market in the Netherlands.
Delta Lloyd said sales of new mortgages more than tripled in
the first quarter after the introduction last year of customised
interest rates based on the value of the house being mortgaged.
The company's stock rose more than 1 percent on the
Amsterdam Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.
Chief Financial Officer Emiel Roozen said he expected a
further increase in new mortgage sales for the rest of 2014,
although the full-year rate of growth would be slightly slower
than for the first quarter.
"Production will definitely be more than (in) 2013," Roozen
told Reuters, referring to new mortgage sales.
Many European banks, still weakened by the 2008 financial
crisis, are less able to provide mortgages than before, leaving
a gap in the market for insurers. Delta Lloyd operates mainly in
the Netherlands and Belgium under the Delta Lloyd, OHRA and ABN
AMRO Insurance brands.
The company said on Thursday that it was in discussions with
"a number of interested parties" on the sale of its
Belgium-based banking business, which it put on the block in
Higher mortgage sales - 380 million euros ($529.06 million)
in the quarter ended March 31 - took the sting off a 5 percent
decline in Delta Lloyd's gross written premiums, the result of
lower demand for life and general insurance.
Delta Lloyd, which has its roots in one of the oldest life
insurers in mainland Europe, Hollandsche Societeit van
Levensverzekeringe, said it expected to achieve insurance group
directive (IGD) solvency of more than 200 percent by the end of
Its IGD solvency, a regulatory measure that calculates the
surplus capital of an insurance company, rose to 189 percent at
the end of the first quarter from 184 percent at the end of
The company is on the lookout for a new chief executive
after announcing last month that CEO Niek Hoek would step down
by May 2015.
Delta Lloyd's shares were up 0.56 percent at 19.02 euros on
the Amsterdam Stock Exchange at 1031 GMT. The stock his risen
nearly 5 percent since the beginning of the year.
($1 = 0.7183 Euros)
(Editing by Sunil Nair and Robin Paxton)