Sanlam pursues growth plan
SOUTH African insurer Sanlam on Thursday said first-half normalised diluted headline earnings rose 16% to 125.5c per share.
The group grew new business volumes by 11% to R61bn and increased the net value of new covered business by 38% compared with the same period last year.
Net fund inflows were R10bn and the annualised return on group equity value per share was 18.4%.
Sanlam Group CEO Johan van Zyl said: "We are pleased with our performance and despite the economic and regulatory challenges in our industry, we remain confident that we have the depth of skills and experience to withstand these challenges.
"We will continue to focus on the execution of the group’s strategy in pursuit of sustainable growth."
Mr van Zyl said the company was in talks about an acquisition in Malaysia, where it could use some of its R4bn in surplus capital.
Sanlam also aimed to use the money to increase its stakes in existing businesses in Africa and India, Mr van Zyl told Reuters in an interview.
"We have around R4bn of surplus capital and we’ve always been cautious so we won’t spend all of it," he said.
"Our key aim is to work with our partners and get a bigger stake. We know the businesses, we already have management there and that’s the focus for the next year."
A Malaysian weekly reported last month that Sanlam was considering a stake of up to 49% in Malaysian insurer Pacific & Orient (P&O).
Mr van Zyl declined to comment on the report and said Sanlam was in talks with several players in Malaysia and was also interested in Indonesia.
Sanlam would like to increase its shareholding in the Indian businesses from the current 26% to more than 30%, he said.
The second-largest life insurer in South Africa, Sanlam operates personal finance and insurance businesses across Africa, Europe, India, Australia and the US.
It has operations in eight African countries with majority stakes in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Botswana and Namibia.
Sanlam said it had acquired the 50% of Satrix Managers it did not already own and another 50% in JPMorgan Chase’s South African investment administration operations.
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