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ST. PAUL COMPANIES, RUSSIAN STATE INSURANCE COMPANY ROSGOSSTRAKH TO COOPERATE IN INSURANCE ACTIVITIES

 NEW YORK, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first such agreement between a U.S. insurer and the state insurance company of Russia, officials of The St. Paul Companies (NYSE: SPC) and Rosgosstrakh, a stock company, have pledged mutual cooperation in a variety of insurance and reinsurance activities and "bi-lateral, profitable contacts between our two companies."
 The signing of a letter of intent on Sept. 24, 1993, culminated a weeklong visit by three Rosgosstrakh executives to The St. Paul's corporate headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., and to the New York offices of St. Paul Re, The St. Paul's reinsurance underwriting operation.
 In the agreement, signed at St. Paul Re by Rosgosstrakh President Vyacheslav Victorovich Shakhov and St. Paul Companies Chairman Douglas Leatherdale, the two companies pledged:
 -- To exchange general information about ongoing developments in their respective markets, with The St. Paul specifically agreeing to provide Rosgosstrakh with information on financial and solvency requirements for U.S. insurers.
 -- To seek to have each company participate in the other company's ceded reinsurance programs, where appropriate and mutually agreeable.
 -- To research the possibility of common, reciprocal service to the clients of Rosgosstrakh operating in the United States and clients of The St. Paul operating in Russia. Such services would include claims handling, risk management and loss control surveys.
 -- To study the possibility of opening an office of The St. Paul in Russia.
 The St. Paul will offer Rosgosstrakh the services of its brokerage operations, the Minet Group, throughout the world.
 The companies agreed to maintain regular contact, and will exchange and train specialists to study the insurance markets of both countries. The St. Paul has accepted Rosgosstrakh's invitation to participate in the second annual International Russian Rendezvous, an insurance and reinsurance meeting to be held in Moscow in the early part of 1994.
 "We are confident this agreement marks the beginning of a long-term relationship with mutual benefits for both companies," Leatherdale said. "We look forward to exploring new business opportunities in Russia, and assisting Rosgosstrakh in expanding its presence in the international insurance marketplace."
 "We highly appreciate these concrete steps to establish business relations with The St. Paul Group and its esteemed chairman, Douglas Leatherdale, and look forward to mutual profitable activities in the U.S. and Russian markets," stated Shakhov. "We regard this agreement as the continuation of the policy of the Rosgosstrakh Stock Company to establish close contacts with international insurance markets."
 Rosgosstrakh was founded in accordance with the decree of the government of Russia dated 10th of February 1992 as the legal successor of the Gosstrakh of Russia that was carrying out its activity from 1921. It remains the biggest insurance company in Russia, employing 114,000 people (including 71,500 agents) through 3,000 branch offices and more than 80 subsidiaries.
 The St. Paul Companies is a worldwide insurance organization whose members provide insurance underwriting and insurance brokerage products and services. It includes St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, the 15th largest property-liability insurance company in the United States.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Patrick Hirigoyen, Corporate Communications Department, The St. Paul Companies, 612-221-7598/
 (SPC)


CO: The St. Paul Companies, Inc.; Rosgosstrakh ST: Minnesota IN: INS SU: JVN

DS-AL -- MN003 -- 5804 09/27/93 09:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993
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