Thursday, January 28, 2021

BIHL shrugs off global credit concerns

Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), the titanic fund and insurance management outfit, reclaimed its pre-recession performance mantle as assets under its investment arm bulged to nearly P 17 billion.

The company’s full year report to December 2009 to be presented to analysts and journalist on Tuesday indicates that its investment and fund management arm ÔÇô Botswana Insurance Fund Management — defied the worst recession since World War II by increasing the value of its assets by 20 percent to P 16.5 billion.

The move was attributed to a number of combinations, including the recovery in the global markets and the funds diversification strategyÔÇöthat looked more into African investments.

“In view of the positive turnaround seen in the capital markets, Bifm (Botswana Insurance Fund Management) assets increased by 20 percent to P 16.5 billion as at December 31, 2009.

“The diversification strategy that Bifm embarked upon has served the company well again this year, reported profits were at similar levels as prior year, a credible outcome considering the volatile financial markets during the period under review,” the company said.

The results also show that the life assurance division, Botswana Life maintained its corporate mandates and increased the clients on the retail side despite the economic downturn.

The net insurance income shot-up 31 percent to register P 1.3 billion- a move that was largely attributed to client centric products that were revamped in a bid to align them with the needs of the society.

“We experienced very rapid growth of bancassurance business that we have launched in partnership with several financial institutions. The partnerships have created an exciting opportunity for bank customers to access insurance products thereby addressing their needs for protection and investment solution,” the company said in its report.

The company has entered into an arrangement with Botswana Post to extend its footprint across the country which is also credited for the client base growth during the period under review.

The value of new business surged up by 15 percent to P 113.6 million largely because of new business and better margins. Operating surplus increased 13 percent to P 250 million while interest earned on income shrunk by 35 percent to P 57 million were lower due to lower interest rate environment.
However, the Tuesday event organised for analysts and journalists is likely to be hijacked by a string of announcementsÔÇöregarding new appointmentsÔÇömainly on three areas.

Top among them is the newly created post of BIHL chief executive officer that was advertised last year. The other interesting thing relates to the creation of the multi-billion pula regional property and PPPs division — and the person to head it — that has been taking much of Victor Senye’s time trying to stitch deals across the subcontinent.

Senye, a true property man, is the chief executive officer of Bifm and lately has developed strong interest in PPPs as Africa is trying to find alternative means of financing its projects.

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