MAPUTO Aug 28 (Reuters) – Sanlam has started talks about a potential acquisition in Angola, the company’s senior official told Reuters this week, as South Africa’s largest insurer look for new streams of income to offset slowing growth at home.
“At this very moment, we are in discussions in Angola,” said Heinie Werth, head of Sanlam’s emerging markets unit. “Angola was always on our radar.”
Sanlam, which has businesses in several other countries such Ghana and Nigeria, has been bulking up its presence elsewhere in Africa, where rapid economic growth has increased the number of people with money to spend on insurance to protect their wealth.
Werth said his company would also look at deploying its excess cash by entering Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country after Nigeria, before it starts “exploratory work” in French-speaking African countries.
“Our group generates excess capital, we sit with extra capital and we deploy over time as and when we find opportunities,” Werth said, adding that Sanlam’s preferred regions are Africa and Southeast Asia.
Sanlam, which aims to generate 20 percent of annual sales outside South Africa over the next five years, has 3.3 billion rand set aside for expansion during its 2015 financial year, which ends in March next year. (Reporting by Manuel Mucari; writing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Clarke)
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