BIHL results bolstered by Bifm, Life business
by Sunday Standard Reporter
The titanic Botswana Insurance Holdings’ operating profits lifted-up 23 percent in the first six months of the year leaving embedded value through the P 1 billion mark, the company said at its half year results Friday.
The move was largely supported by its Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm) and the slow-down in the mortality rate – affecting its Life division – partly attributed to the roll-out of the ARV programme.
“Operating profit on an annualized basis increased impressively by 23 percent on strong performance of asset management and the life business. Assets management increased by 16 percent from P 9.35 billion to P 10.89 billion at 30 June 2006,” the company said on Friday.
Bifm which is fast becoming the major instrumental component in the company’s main player in the regional component extending as far as Kenya – of recent—and Zambia maintained all its mandates in as far as the management of the government’s public service pension fund and other prastatals is concerned.
The move was largely attributed to its links with the some of the regional and international strategic partners, namely Sanlam and Merrill Lynch- respectively.
“The operations in Zambia are continuing to give us some good results and over the six months to end of June our growth has totaled P 10.9 billion. However, we are experiencing some stiff competition within the local market, but we do have some regional expansions into Kenya and other African countries will follow up soon,” Simon Ipe of Bifm said.
The Kenya operations which are now under African Life—a company which was bought out Sanlam locally—and used to own 60 percent of Botswana Insurance Holdings. It operations there are likely to be taken-over by one of Bifm’s subsidiaries while at the same time the company will be looking at some other available opportunities across the African region.
Bifm will also look at the listing of its interest at Fairground Holdings which were sold to Turnstar, a company in which its holds some substantial stake.
“We are looking at share for Turnstar in fairgrounds being listed on the stock-exchange soon,” Ipe said.
The results were further improved by the roll-out of the ARV programme which saw the number of claimants slowing-down at a faster rate than originally though. But the company was cautious about the move saying that there is a likelihood of an implosion in the future.
However, the company said its bullish profits were somehow affected by lapses in policies as the difficult economic conditions largely influenced by fuel inflationary pressures weighted heavily on members wallets. It said as part of the measures to restore its credibility its is aiming at driving its belated new products covering extended families, increasing manpower at agency level and profits at the ill perceived annuity.
“One of the greatest things that we would like to protect is our market dominance which is at 70 percent, head of Botswana Life, Regina Sikalesele- Vaka said.
The company also saw its embedded value exceeding P 1 billion for the first time since records began.