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The continental reinsurance giant, Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) announced that it will diversify its investment in Ethiopia’s capital by up to USD 10 million.
The 146th meeting of board members was held at Sheraton Addis on Monday April 9. They reviewed Africa Re’s activities and final accounts for 2017 and after the meeting leaders told Capital that they had decided to expand investments.
Hassan Boubrik, Board Chairman, and Corneille Karekezi, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of African Re, said that even though market conditions have been tough the reinsurance company’s businesses had grown.
The CEO stated that a reinsurance firm must be liquid so they have invested in several African stock exchanges including: Johannesburg, Casablanca, Legos, Cairo, and Nairobi. They also have invested in many other business sectors. .
“We have made some decisions today to invest in real estate in Mauritius and we are studying a proposal to invest in Ethiopian real estate,” he added.
The corporation has an office in Mauritius. In 2011 it also opened one in Addis Ababa. “We are investing in Addis to increase visibility in a market where we have a host agreement and to improve the source of income,” the CEO said. “The possible investment in Ethiopia is difficult to mention right now but it is something from USD 5 million to 10 million. We are still studying the proposal given by the municipality of Addis Ababa,” Karekezi said.
Currently the corporation invests in local banks as a term deposit.
In the past fiscal year the gross written premium of Ethiopian insurers reached USD 170 million of which the USD 42 million has been transferred to reinsurers including the recently formed Ethiopian Reinsurance, a local reinsurer. From the stated USD 42 million transferred to reinsurers the Africa Re stake has been close to USD 17 million.
The Africa Re gross written premium has grown to USD 746.83 million, 16.3 percent above the 2016 performance.
The corporation’s net profit amounted to USD 88 million and net combined ratio stood at 95 percent. The technical margin and return on investment stood at 5.1 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. The corporation stated shareholders’ funds grew by 11 percent to reach USD 902 million in 2017.
Africa Re was established in 1976 and includes 41 AU member states including Ethiopia and private banks, African Development Bank and non-continental actors as shareholders. Ethiopia is one of the founding shareholders. The corporation was given an A minus rating by S&P and A by AM.