As the insurance markets in Europe get back to normal after the various financial crises, not all of the participants have benefited equally. In my view, AXA (OTCQX:AXAHY) and Allianz (OTCQX:AZSEY) moved faster to reposition themselves for the new market realities, and I believe that's at least part of the reason why their shares have outperformed Belgium's Ageas (OTCPK:AGESY) over the past three years (as well as the past year). Nevertheless, I think Ageas has gone a long way toward stabilizing and repositioning its business, and I think the company is poised to benefit from better rates in life insurance and growing opportunities in Asia.
Ageas has surplus capital, and I expect that capital will go toward M&A or back to shareholders. I don't expect exceptional profit growth or return expansion from Ageas, but mid-single-digit growth is enough to support a fair value more than 10% above today's price, and I believe that the businesses will continue to support a healthy dividend payout to shareholders. Investors should note that the ADRs are not especially liquid, so buying the Belgium-listed shares (AGS.BR) may be a better option for some investors.
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Ageas Looks Undervalued On Its Core Earnings Power, With Capital Available To Support More Growth