News Africa09 Sep 2019

South Africa:Sanlam eyes insurance venture in Egypt within 12 months

09 Sep 2019

South Africa's largest insurer Sanlam could invest in Egypt in the next 12 months, CEO Ian Kirk told Reuters last week, following interim results bolstered by its pan-African strategy.

Sanlam has previously said it wanted to take a stake in an Egyptian firm, but it had yet to find a suitable partner.

CEO Kirk told Reuters it was now looking at a number of potential companies.

He was speaking after Sanlam reported a 32% drop in profits largely due to one-off costs, including a ZAR1.7bn ($111.57m) expense related to a black economic empowerment transaction and a ZAR200m amortisation charge.

Sanlam’s net result from financial services - its measure of operating profit — rose 13%, which the insurer described as a “credible” performance considering an ailing economy in South Africa and volatility in global markets amid a Sino-US trade war and other uncertainties such as Brexit.

It said its results were buoyed by its newly acquired Moroccan unit Saham Finances, which it bought in March 2018 in the 101-year-old company’s largest-ever purchase.

The acquisition of the firm, which operates in 26 countries via 65 subsidiaries across Africa, is part of Sanlam’s drive to become a pan-African insurance group. It is already one of the largest insurers by assets on the continent.

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