Emeritus International gets –A credit rating

Emeritus International gets –A credit rating

HARARE, The Global Credit Rating agency has upgraded Emeritus Reinsurance credit rating to –A from BBB, reflecting the group’s claims paying ability and strong balance sheet.

Emeritus Reinsurance is a professional pan-African reinsurer specialising in providing reinsurance and risk management solutions to the direct insurance markets.

The group has been undergoing a restructuring exercise since 2008, which it believes has positioned the company on a solida foundation for growth.

“Our rating was BBB and from that we have moved to –A which is the best rating. This means that our claims paying ability is enhanced,” Leo Huvaya, the managing director said.he said.

He said the group’s rebranding and balance sheet restructuring saw the company approaching the international rating agent.

“We demonstrated that we had also pruned the business to make it profitable and improved on cash generation,” he said.

Prior to nthe rebranding, the group had Baobab Re in Zimbabwe, Zimre Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique and First Re in Botswana, but the structure was not giving the benefit of size.

“We had done that because of sanctions which resulted in us having multiplicity of brands,” he said.


He added that following the rebranding of the operations to Emeritus Re, the group is moving to raise $30 million from Botswana.


“The initiative is ongoing and we are almost there. We have had a number of interests and right now it’s the processes of due diligence going on,” he said.


Post the capital raise, Huvaya said, the group will move to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) through a private placement.


“But this will be done in the period of five years of assessment and that is part of our strategy,” he said.

Huvaya said in 2008, the group restructured the balance sheet in order to survive and this has helped in growing the property portfolio.


“Although we know that the property values are undervalued but given the high inflation, we see the property values are now coming in handy,” he said.


He noted that the restructuring exercise saw the group disposing off Zimre Centre building, and used the proceeds to construct the Sawanga mall in Victoria Falls.


Huvaya said the company has also moved a big way into student accommodation.