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The real estate investment of insurance companies in Poland

Rafal Wolski (Department of Capital Markets, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland)
Magdalena Zaleczna (Department of Investment and Real Estate, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 8 February 2011




The purpose of this paper is to identify possible reasons for insurance companies' scant interest in real estate as investment asset in Poland. The authors attempt to determine the impact of real estate investment on insurance companies' profitability.


After collecting the aggregated data about insurance companies' financial results for the period 2000‐2008 the authors analyzed the relationship between real estate investment and profitability indicators such as return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE) and return on sales (ROS). This approach reflected the shareholders' point‐of‐view. Subsequently, the same kind of analysis was carried out to investigate the impact of real estate investments on the insurance companies' return on technical activity (RTA) and return on investment activity (RIA). These indicators are meant to assess business performance from the point‐of‐view of insured persons.


The analysis revealed some negative correlations: real estate investments may reduce the profitability of insurance companies. If this is true, the unwillingness of insurance companies to purchase property would not be surprising. Yet, this conclusion should be accepted with caution.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the short study period and changes in legal classification of investment categories, the available data were very imperfect and the study results may not be perceived as undisputable, hence, it is felt that further research is needed.


The paper is original, as previously no such research has been conducted in Poland.



Wolski, R. and Zaleczna, M. (2011), "The real estate investment of insurance companies in Poland", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 74-82.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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