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Kenya Re reveals plans to move into North Africa

20th March 2017 - Author: Marianne Lehnis

Kenya Re has revealed plans to open a regional hub in Sudan or Egypt as North Africa becomes its next target market after having successfully consolidated Southern and Western African lines of business, the Star reported.

Kenya Re managing director Jadiah Mwarania, told the Star the 60% state-owned company was aiming for further diversification of product offers and revenue streams, after having grown into a heavy market presence in Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa.

Mwarania said Kenya Re will grow its reinsurance capacity as it makes North Africa its next key focus, although Uganda has now also been earmarked as a possible target market due to the country investigating regulatory changes.

Kenya Re took a lead in providing reinsurance capacity and technical expertise to both local and international energy markets, Mwarania told the Star.

The Kenyan reinsurance giant boasted being the first to hone in on newly found oil markets – offering re/insurance products after more than an estimated 750 million barrels worth of oil was discovered in Turkana, North-West Kenya.

The reinsurer has seen rapid expansion, having opened a regional office in Zambia in February last year to service Southern Africa operations.

In 2012, the firm had established an Ivory Coast centre to service West Africa.

Kenya Re saw a 4.14 % growth to Sh1.56 billion in its 2016 half-year net profit, up from Sh1.50 billion from the year before.

Managing director Mwarania cited a five-year corporate strategy with a focus on “efficient management, product innovation and development and offering new covers to its clients, as well as an aggressive marketing,” as keys to the firms’ success.

Kenya Re also operates throughout the Middle East and Asia, with branches in countries such as Bangladesh, India, and the United Arab Emirates.

The African reinsurer’s expansion and business consolidation sends a positive signal of the growth potential of developing markets for reinsurers, although as previously witnessed in some Asian markets, in these emerging spaces the balance may be tipped in favour of local industries.

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