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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Insurer Asks State To Define Its Role

Russia's biggest household insurer, Rosgosstrakh, has asked its main shareholder, the government, to decide whether the company should become a commercial firm or a state social agency.

"Now is the time to define priorities," Rosgosstrakh chief executive Alexei Golovkov said at a news conference Thursday.

Rosgosstrakh can either aim to raise its market value, becoming a purely commercial company in a sell-off, or focus on insuring poorer households, which could mean losing money.

"Now is the time to choose - either or," Golovkov said, asking for a decision no later than October or November.

Golovkov said Rosgosstrakh if privatized should cost $1 billion to 1.5 billion, but potential investors were ready to pay only $100 million to $500 million at the moment because of the company's problems.

The company's previous management had tried to privatize it, but the government stopped the process.