Kenya insurance firm spreads its wings

NAIROBI, KENYA – Kenya Reinsurance Company is on an ambitious expansion programme that will see it launch operations in four countries southern Africa.
Kenyan’s biggest re- insurer will open operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique after a successful business foray in West Africa last year.
According to the company’s Managing Director, Jadiah Mwarania, Kenya Re will be seeking to tap into the growing demand for re-insurance in Africa.
“We have our sights on the emerging market opportunities in Africa. We have successfully ventured into West Africa and it is now time to shift gear to the Southern Africa market,” Mwarania said..
He made the announcement during the company’s investor briefing in Nairobi where it posted 46.3% growth in profits after tax last year. The growth was attributed to increased investment income, high interest rate and high rental yields. He said the insurance business environment had also improved in key markets.
The company recorded a net profit of $33.7 million last year, which was a significant rise from the $22.8 million it posted in 2012 year of trading.
Over the same period, investment income grew 87 per cent while gross premiums written increased 20%.
“The good performance has been largely aided by the improving business environment in the insurance sector largely due to sound legislation and policy framework,” Mwarania said.
Last year, Kenya Re opened an office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast as a launching pad to the French- speaking insurance markets of West Africa. This was warranted by the potential the lay in that market.
Mwarania said the Ivorian market alone has over 33 insurance companies with a business volume of $500 million.

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