The Ministry of Finance confirmed today that Slovakia had won the arbitration proceedings by which Dutch owner of health insurers Dovera and Apollo, the company HICEE (part of financial group Penta), was trying to sue the country for loss of profit via dividends.
The company was claiming for lost dividends after the government of Robert Fico changed the law, essentially preventing private health insurance companies from generating profit from public health insurance. The arbitration court ruled that the company had no claim to the dividends, however.
HICEE was relying on an old agreement on the protection of investments signed between former Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands, but the court eventually decided that the indirect interest of HICEE in the two health insurers was not covered by the agreement. This meant that the merits of the case were not even examined.
Two more international arbitration claims have been filed against Slovakia over the issue, as well as three lawsuits in the Slovak Republic, by which the owners of health insurance companies will try to squeeze some profit back from the Slovak Republic.