HUNGARY - Dutch financials group Aegon has announced it will merge its Hungarian pension fund with the ‘Uniqa and Public Service' pension fund, following its recent purchase of Uniqa Asset Management.

Members of the two funds approved the merger at separate meetings in Budapest late on Friday, and it has been agreed the merged fund will operate under the Aegon brand name.

The ‘Uniqa and Public Service' scheme is separate from the asset manager which Austrian insurance group Uniqa sold in January as a result of consolidation pressure.

However, Uniqa Asset Management provides asset management services for the pension fund, which has both a mandatory and a voluntary pension scheme.

Once the merger, which still requires approval from Hungary's regulatory authorities, is completed, Aegon Hungary's pension fund will have a total of 810,000 members and approximately €2bn in assets under management.

Aegon said it has almost doubled its share of the voluntary pension fund market in Hungary as a result of the merger, and has raised its share of the mandatory pension fund market to just over 20%.

The group's pension funds in central and eastern Europe will have a total of 1.5 million members - an increase of 10%.

The company has also stated it aims to increase that figure to a total of 2.3 million pension fund members in central and eastern Europe by 2010.

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