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Monday, August 21, 2017

Kenya Re sets sights on North after South, West Africa entry

Kenya Re managing director Jadiah Mwarania with his chairman David Kemei at the release of the 2016 half year result in Nairobi on August 30,2016.
Kenya Re managing director Jadiah Mwarania with his chairman David Kemei at the release of the 2016 half year result in Nairobi on August 30,2016. PHOTO/ENOS TECHE.

Kenya Reinsurance Corporation says it will build on its past successful regional expansion strategy to penetrate more markets in Africa, with a key focus on North Africa.

Managing director Jadiah Mwarania says this will enable the corporation increase reinsurance capacity for insurance companies in Africa.

Mwarania said the reinsurance, with heavy presence in Eastern and Central Africa, wants to increase its presence on the continent after successful entry into Southern and West African markets.

Kenya Re officially opened a regional office in Lusaka, Zambia, in February 2016 to act as the hub for Southern Africa’s operations. The office serves Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.

The firm, whose shares trade on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, has also been operating in West Africa from the Abidjan (Ivory Coast) office which it set up in 2012.

Mwarania said the company has now shifted focus to North Africa where it plans to set up shop through a hub office in either Sudan or Egypt.

Kenya-Re also has a presence in the Middle East and Asia in countries such as Bangladesh, India and the United Arab Emirates.

He said the company also plans to develop more products and services to diversify its revenue streams.

The company’s last reported a 4.14 per cent growth to Sh1.56 billion in half-year net profit for the period ended June 2016 compared to Sh1.50 billion the year before.

Mwarania said Kenya-Re, owned about 60 per cent by the state, achieved much success by putting up efficient management, product innovation and development and offering new covers to its clients, as well as an aggressive marketing.

He added that the company has also implemented a five-year corporate strategy, which has enabled it maintain financial stability, improve business processes, enhance business development, manage risks and strengthen institutional capacity.

The discovery of oil, estimated at more than 750 million barrels, in Turkana has seen the company invest in building capacities that will enable the corporation reap from the energy sector.

He said Kenya Re was among the first to enter into the sector and took a lead in providing reinsurance capacity and technical expertise to both local and the international markets.

Mwarania said the corporation is also considering entering Uganda. This is because the country is changing its regulations. Out of about 26 companies in the market, Kenya-Re is dealing with about 20. In 2015, Kenya Re announced it had bought a five per cent stake in Uganda Re as it positioned itself for opportunities arising from oil in northern Uganda.

The company has also put in place new software to keep up with the changing environment.

In 2015, Mwarania said Kenya-Re installed software known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which has helped the corporation streamline operations and make customer engagement smooth.

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