GWO expands in Ireland

Article Excerpt

GREAT-WEST LIFECO, $36.69, is still a hold. The insurer (Toronto symbol GWO; shares outstanding: 928.4 million; Market cap: $34.2 billion; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; Dividend yield: 4.8%; www.greatwestlifeco.com) has steadily expanded its operations in Ireland in the past few years. That includes its $1.75 billion purchase of Irish Life in 2013. The firm is Ireland’s largest pension manager and life insurance provider. Great-West, through its Canada Life subsidiary, is now forming a 50/50 joint venture with Allied Irish Banks. This new unit will sell life insurance, pension and investment products. The partnership should let the two firms offer a greater array of services to their current Irish clients, as well as new ones. Meanwhile, this is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Great-West meant to diversify its operations. The purchase nonetheless adds risk. What’s more, you should note that rising interest rates would hurt the value of the company’s bond portfolio. Great-West Lifeco is still a hold. hold…

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