December 28, 2011 / 10:55 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-ACE buys Ecuador general insurer for $55 mln


Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. property and casualty insurer ACE Ltd said it bought a general insurance company in Ecuador for $55 million to enhance its base in the country.

ACE bought Banco de Guayaquil’s unit Rio Guayas Compania de Seguros y Reaseguros, which is currently the fourth-largest non-life insurer in Ecuador, the company said in a statement.

The deal follows a host of acquisitions by ACE as it tries to expand its presence across the world.

In September, ACE bought Penn Millers Holding Corp for $107 million to boost its presence in the booming agricultural insurance sector.

Earlier in June, it acquired its Malaysian joint venture from Advance Synergy Capital Berhad for $39 million in cash.

ACE Group said the deal will add to its earnings and book value per share.

Property and casualty insurers like Ace have been benefitting from improving pricing environment and low exposure to volatile equity markets.

Shares of ACE, valued at $23.80 billion, closed at $69.97 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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