It was announced today that Africa’s largest insurer, Sanlam Ltd, is considering pulling out of several of its UK-based operations in a bid to further focus. Bloomberg revealed that among the exits planned by the insurance giant are its life insurance and wealth management units which are sold to free up capital for the company’s expansion into various African markets and India. .
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Sanlam is buying a new stake in Moroccan firm Saham Assurance SA for around 2 billion rand (around 102 million pounds) in order to accelerate its presence on the continent, where it currently operates in more than 30 countries.
CEO Paul Hanratty told Bloomberg over the phone that the Cape Town-based company will maintain an asset management business in the UK, but is pulling out of its other domestic businesses because they “are not part of our strategy. “. Sanlam has already received Â£ 75million for Nucleus Financial Group Plc, the sale of which closed in August and is currently considering the divestiture of its UK insurance, pension and wealth management businesses.
Bloomberg noted that the move is in line with the group’s African focus that began three years ago when it paid $ 1.1 billion (around Â£ 0.79 billion) for Saham Finance, and that Hanratty did not disclose the value of the companies Sanlam is leaving. The group is also focusing on growing its share of the South African market, where it earns the most money. South Africa has been hit hard by the pandemic, with several insurers reporting record death claims.
It has been highlighted by Bloomberg that the company is increasing life insurance premiums to protect its revenue base from the continuing effects of COVID-19. Hanratty noted that Sanlam has also registered growing complaints in its markets in East and West Africa. Sanlam, which does not declare an interim dividend, announced a 16% increase in its financial services net income for the six-month period ending in June, compared to the same period last year, according to Bloomberg.