ALM (Asset and Liability Management)
ALM refers to the continuous matching of corporate assets and liabilities. It ensures that promised payments are covered by achievable returns. ALM serves as a management instrument for developing a strategy with which financial goals can be achieved within prescribed risk limits.
Assets under management
Total capital assets that are valued at fair value, under management by the group, and where the group is responsible for asset performance.
The parent company and its subsidiaries are considered to be associated companies if the parent company is able to exert control over the business policies of the subsidiary. Examples of this are where the parent company directly or indirectly holds more than half of all voting rights, a controlling agreement exists, or it is possible to appoint the majority of the members of the Managing Board or other executive bodies of the subsidiary (§ 244 UGB).
Available for sale securities
Available for sale securities include securities that were not acquired with the intention of being held-to-maturity, or for short-term trading purposes. These available for sale securities are recognised at market value as of the balance sheet reporting date.
A key figure used in the analysis of shares and companies. It represents the inflow and outflow of liquid assets during a specific accounting period. Cash flow is essentially calculated by adding together the profit for the year, depreciation, changes in long-term provisions, and income taxes.
Cash flow statement
A presentation of the changes in cash and cash equivalents during a fiscal year, broken down into the three areas of ordinary activities, investing activities, and financing activities.
Ceded reinsurance premiums
Share of the premiums to which the reinsurer is entitled in return for reinsuring certain risks.
CEE (Central and Eastern Europe)
The Vienna Insurance Group defines the “CEE” region as all the growth markets in Central and Eastern Europe in which the Group operates. This includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. Note that differences may exist between this definition and the definition of CEE used by other companies, financial institutions (e.g. IMF, OECD, WIFO, IHS), etc.
Claims incurred but not reported
Losses that are reported in the current fiscal year but occurred in the previous year. Each year as of the balance sheet reporting date, a reserve (= incurred but not reported reserve, IBNR) is formed for losses that relate to the financial statement year but are not reported until the following year.
Combined Ratio (net)
When the total of all items in the income statement that contribute to the profit before taxes, except for income from capital assets and the value of gross earned premiums itself, is divided by gross earned premiums, the result is called the combined ratio. If this ratio is less than 100%, the company is earning a profit from the underwriting portion of the business. This ratio is only calculated for property and casualty insurance. Since the reinsurers’ share is taken into account in the calculation, the result is a net combined ratio.
The financial assets of the parent company and those of the subsidiaries are combined when the consolidated financial statements are prepared by the parent company. During this process, intercompany capital combinations, interim profit/loss, payables and receivables, and income and expenses between group companies are eliminated.
Collective term for the ten VIG markets Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Deposits on assumed and ceded reinsurance business
A claim by the reinsuring company against the ceding company for deposits that it retains. When business is assumed, the reinsurer’s share of premiums and claims are retained as security by the ceding insurance company. The deposits on ceded reinsurance item is analogous.
Derivative financial instruments (derivatives)
Financial contracts whose value depends on the price of an underlying asset. Derivatives can be classified systematically according to the nature of the underlying asset (interest rates, share prices, currency rates, or commodity prices). Options, futures, forwards and swaps are important examples of derivative financial instruments.
Insurance business where an immediate legal relationship exists between the insurer and policyholder.
The portion of premiums written which is allocated to the current fiscal year.
Earnings per share (basic/diluted)
The ratio of consolidated net income divided by the average number of shares outstanding. The diluted earnings per share include convertible securities that have been exercised, or are still available for exercise, in the calculation of the number of shares and net income. The convertible securities consist of convertible bonds and stock options.
Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
Risk and opportunity management. The tasks of ERM are identification, assessment, analysis and control of opportunities and risks.
Shares in associated companies are recognised using this method. As a rule, the value recognised corresponds to the Group’s proportional share of the equity in these companies. In the case of shares in companies that prepare their own consolidated financial statements, the consolidated equity is recognised instead. For current valuation, the value recognised is adjusted using a proportional share of changes to equity, with the shares in net income being allocated to consolidated net income and disbursed profit distributions deducted.
The short version for Erste Group Bank AG.
Expenses for insurance claims
These are comprised of the payments for insurance claims, payments for claims investigation, claims settlement, and claims prevention, and from the change in the associated reserves.
A security value calculated using a theoretical pricing model that takes into account factors on which the price depends.
Income and expenses for capital assets and interest. This includes, for example, income from securities, loans, real estate and equity interests, as well as bank interest, and expenses incurred in the financial area, such as scheduled depreciation on owned real estate, unscheduled writedowns of securities to listed market prices, bank fees, etc.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
A measure of a country’s economic production. All goods and services produced or provided within a country (by citizens or foreigners) during a specified period, valued at current prices (market prices) or constant prices (prices in a certain base year). By using a constant price level in the calculations, price increases can be eliminated so that the figures presented over time are independent of inflation. GDP at constant prices is also known as real GDP.
In insurance terminology, “gross/net” means before or after reinsurance has been deducted (“net” is also used to mean “for own account”). In connection with income from equity interests, the term “net” is used when related expenses have already been deducted from income (e.g., write-offs and losses from sale). Therefore, (net) income from equity interests equals the profit or loss from these interests.
International Accounting Standards
International Financial Reporting Standards. Since 2002, the designation IFRS has stood for the overall framework of all standards adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board. Previously adopted standards continue to be referred to as International Accounting Standards (IAS).
Income from capital assets and interest income
Income from capital assets and other interest income is comprised of income from equity interests (from associated companies), income from land and buildings, income from other capital assets, income from write-ups, gains from the sale of capital assets, and other income from capital assets and interest income.
Insurance business where the company acts as a reinsurer.
Annual per capita insurance premiums, used as an indicator for the state of development of a country’s insurance sector.
Insurance payments (net)
Expenses (after deducting reinsurance) for insurance claims.
Insurance supervisory authority
The Austrian insurance supervisory authority is a part of the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) that was established as an independent authority in April 2002. Its supervision extends to private-sector insurance companies with registered offices in Austria.
A reserve for losses that have already been incurred but have not yet been settled. Claims and claims settlement expenses can be divided into two categories: reserves for known but still outstanding claims, and reserves for claims that have been incurred but have not yet been reported, or the correct amount has not been reported (“IBNR”, “IBNER”).
Stock exchange value or market capitalisation means the value of a stock corporation calculated by multiplying the current stock exchange price by the total number of shares issued.
The value of an asset on the balance sheet that can be realised by selling it in the market to a third party.
A reserve calculated according to mathematical principles for future insurance payments in the life and health insurance areas. In the health insurance area, this is also referred to as an ageing reserve.
Non-life insurance includes the property and casualty insurance and health insurance segments.
Operating expenses for retained insurance business are broken down into policy writing expenses, and other operating expenses, less reinsurance commissions and profit commissions for reinsurance cessions. Expenses for claims investigation, loss prevention, and claims processing (claims handling expenses) or for making insurance payments (settlement costs) are shown in the expenses for insurance claims item.
Derivative financial instruments which entitle, but do not obligate, the buyer to purchase (call option) or sell (put option) an underlying asset at a future point in time for a specified price. In contrast, the seller of the option is obligated to deliver or purchase the asset and receives a premium for providing the option.
Organic growth means the growth of a company resulting from the company’s own financial strength. Such growth is therefore not the result of purchasing other companies.
Comprised of life, health and casualty insurance.
The abbreviation PIIGS is made up of the initial letters of the European countries that are feeling particularly heavy pressure due to the Eurozone debt crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.
Agreed fee paid in exchange for assumption of risk by an insurance company.
Premium refund (profit-dependent)
The policyholder’s profit participation in the profit of the insurance class in question (life / health / property and casualty).
Premium refund (profit-independent)
Contractually accorded refund of premiums to the policyholder.
Direct business premiums written are comprised of set premiums, not including premium or fire service taxes, plus policyholder collateral payments, reduced by premiums cancelled during the fiscal year. In indirect business, the premiums written correspond to the premiums that the ceding insurer has indicated for offset. In co-insurance business, the premiums written by each co-insurer correspond to the share of premiums allotted to it.
Current value of a cash amount to be received in the future, calculated through discounting by a known discount rate.
A financial ratio for evaluating shares. The price-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) shows the price of the share in relation to the earnings per share in a comparative period or future period. If the comparative period is defined as one year, the price-earnings ratio is the end-of-year price divided by the earnings per share for the year.
See premium refund (profit-dependent).
A rating is an evaluation of the creditworthiness of a debtor (countries, companies and so on) often carried out by a specialised rating agency. The evaluation is expressed as a kind of grading. It is very similar to a school grading system. The ratings of the agencies have different grading systems and symbols.
Reinsurance is when an insurance company insures a portion of its risk with another insurance company.
Retained earnings are the profits generated by the company that have not been distributed as dividends.
Return on Equity (RoE)
Profit before taxes as a percentage of average equity, calculated using values at the beginning and end of the year.
Securities held to maturity
Held-to-maturity securities comprise debt securities that are intended to be held to maturity, and can be held to maturity. They are measured at cost upon initial recognition, which is equal to fair value at the time of acquisition. Subsequent measurement is performed at acquisition cost carried forward. A write-down is recognised in profit or loss in the case of permanent impairment.
Presentation of the consolidated financial statements broken down according to the property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and health insurance areas as primary segments, and according to regions as secondary segments.
A special type of premium payment used for life insurance. A (high) amount is paid as a single premium at the start of the policy.
Solvency II is a fundamental reform of insurance supervisory law in Europe, particularly solvency regulations relating to the capital adequacy of insurance companies. Solvency II is intended to create methods for the riskbased management of the total solvency of insurance companies. The static system for determining capital adequacy currently in effect will be replaced by a riskbased system, which goes beyond the current capital adequacy provisions of the Insurance Supervision Act to also take into account, in particular, qualitative factors (e.g. internal risk management).
Standard & Poor’s
Standard & Poor's is an internationally recognised rating agency. It analyses and evaluates companies, countries and bonds, among other things. It uses its own rating scale, which ranges from AAA for the highest category to CC for the lowest when rating the financial strength of insurance companies. The ratings can be modified by adding a plus or minus sign.
Stress tests are a special form of scenario analysis. The objective is to arrive at a quantitative assessment of the potential losses incurred by portfolios in the event of extreme market fluctuations.
As of 1 January 2007 Austrian Corporation Code (Unternehmensgesetzbuch)
Underwriters are responsible for evaluating risks in the insurance industry, and have the authority to underwrite risks. An underwriter estimates the probability and size of a loss as precisely as possible, calculates insurance premiums and establishes policy terms.
These consist of the provision for outstanding claims, actuarial reserve, unearned premiums, provisions for profitdependent and profit-independent premium refunds, the equalisation provision, and other underwriting reserves.
The portion of premiums written that were specified for the period following the annual financial statement reporting date and are therefore not included in the income for the financial year. These premiums are used to cover obligations arising after the balance sheet reporting date.
Unit-linked and index-linked life insurance
Insurance policies where the capital investment is made at the policy-holder’s risk. The investments in this area are valued at fair value, with the underwriting reserves shown at the value of the capital assets.
The Austrian Insurance Supervision Act (Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz) includes provisions governing the organization and supervision of insurance companies.
Value-at-risk is a procedure used to calculate potential losses arising from price changes affecting the trading position. This loss potential is expressed using a specific confidence limit (e.g. 98%), and is calculated based on market-related price changes.
Fluctuations in security prices, currency rates, and interest rates.
Vienna Insurance Group (VIG)
When Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) is mentioned, generally the Group as a whole is meant. If a statement refers only to the activities of the Group holding company, the word “Holding” is added at the end of the name.