Oman fund buys 12.6 pct stake in PetroVietnam unit

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Oman Investment Fund has acquired a 12.6 percent stake in PetroVietnam Insurance Co, the insurance arm of Vietnam's state oil and gas group, for US$42.4 million, a statement said Thursday.

The deal makes the fund, run by the government of Oman, a strategic investor in the Hanoi-based insurance firm, the joint statement sent to Reuters said.

The deal allows PVI, Vietnam's second-largest non-life insurance firm in terms of direct insurance premiums, and Oman Investment Fund "to co-invest in Vietnam and globally leveraging respective strengths", it said.

PVI said its gross profit in the first quarter of this year rose 24.7 percent from the same period in 2009 to VND98 billion ($5.2 million), or nearly 30 percent of its annual plan.

PVI, which has a 100 percent share in the energy insurance market, has projected its 2010 gross profit will rise 50 percent from last year to VND330.07 billion.

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