ZIMNAT in slow start in 2017

ZIMNAT in slow start in 2017

HARARE, Zimbabwe’s insurance group, Zimnat is among the Sanlam’s’ group operations in Africa who had slow starts to the year hence failing to make contribution towards growth during the four months to April 2017.

Sanlam, a South African financial and insurance group acquired a 40% shareholding in Zimnat in a deal worth $11,5 million. The balance of shareholding is owned by Masawara, a holding for Dandemutande Investments, Joina City and iWayAfrica Zimbabwe among others.

Sanlam operates in 35 countries in Africa while Zimnat operates four subsidiaries in the country which include general insurance, life assurance, and microfinance and asset management.

“Most regions contributed to the growth in constant currency, apart from Tanzania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Zambia, which had slow starts to the year,” Sanlam said in an operational update for the first four months of 2017.

The group said the economic outlook in the other Africa regions where the Group operates is slowly improving.

Zimnat has been a leading player in the Zimbabwean life assurance and short-term insurance industries since 1946. The Group has a good credit rating of A- for both the life assurance and short-term insurance businesses, and an asset base of over $92 mln.

During the period, the Sanlam group maintained a resilient operational performance with key trends that emerged during the 2016 financial year persisting into 2017.

Strong growth in the more profitable recurring premium risk business in South Africa supported sterling growth in the value of new life business at a higher overall margin.

All of the Group operations remain well capitalised. In the outlook, the Group expect that the economic and operating environment will remain challenging for the remainder of 2017 with a resulting impact on the Group’s key operational performance indicators.

“Persistent investor risk aversion, average investment market levels, the relative strength of the Rand exchange rate and the level of long-term interest rates are key factors that may have an impact on the growth in net result from financial services, normalised headline earnings and Group Equity Value to be reported for the first half of the 2017 financial year.

“The Group is, however, well-positioned to weather the current headwinds and to continue delivering value for our shareholders and other stakeholders.”