The German financial supervisory authority, BaFin, has counted 46 German insurance companies that are exposed to the now insolvent Signa group, according to state secretary Florian Toncar’s reply to a parliamentary inquiry.

In the case of nine companies, the exposure accounts for more than 1% of the investment portfolio, and reaches a peak of 2.2%, the state secretary added in his reply to the parliamentary inquiry from MP Jessica Tatti. 

A spokesperson for BaFin said that the regulator is keeping an eye on the unfolding situation, looking at insurance companies, credit institutions and pension funds falling under its supervision. 

BaFin is monitoring the consequences of Signa’s collapse for the institutions under its supervision, but it does not see a “serious threat” for those involved, the spokesperson said, adding that in part the exposures are secured. 

According to a further reply from state secretary Toncar to MP Tatti, two pension schemes are also involved with Signa. They are the Versorgungsanstalt der deutschen Bühnen (VddB) for theatre employees, and the pension schemes for musicians of the German cultural orchestras Versorgungsanstalt der deutschen Kulturorchester (VddKO), both managed by Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK).

The pension funds are among those financing three properties in which Signa companies are involved, said Toncar, as reported by Capital magazine. These real estate financings are “extensively secured”, according to the report.

The pension schemes are also invested in a real estate Spezialfond that is the buyer of a Signa property under construction. Overall, however, the capital commitments of the two pension institutions amount to less than 1% of their assets, according to Toncar’s reply, the report added.  

Toncar’s response has revealed that the number of companies exposed to Signa is significantly higher than was previously known.

The Financial Times reported in December that half a dozen companies provided funds to Signa, including Allianz, Munich Re, and Ergo.

Last week, two key real estate divisions of the group, Signa Prime Selection and Signa Development Selections, filed for insolvency.

Signa Prime, with a gross asset value of €20.4bn, holds properties including the Elbtower in Hamburg, KaDeWe in Berlin and a department store of the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof chain, and the Alte Akademie in Munich. 

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