ZEP Re premium income rises by 25%

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ZEP Re (PTA Reinsurance Company) has reported growth of 25,2% in premium income for the period ending December 2014 to $125,44 million from $100,81 million in 2013 due to prudent risk management, improved underwriting results in the property class of business and increased investment income.

BY OUR STAFF

ZEP Re is a regional organisation charged with the task of promoting trade, development and integration within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region through trade of insurance and reinsurance business.

In the period under review, net insurance claims for 2014 rose to $50,19 million compared to $ 40,67 million in 2013.
In a statement, the company said the investment portfolio grew by 31,98% to $194,15 million from $147,11 million in 2013.

In 2014 ZEP Re also continued to diversify its portfolio which resulted in an increase in the proportion of US dollar-
denominated investments. The investment income increased to $10,86 million from $9,08 million in 2013.

During the period under review, the company recorded a profit of $18,71 million in 2014 compared to $$15,36 million in
2013.

Commenting on the company’s performance, ZEP Re chairperson William Erio observed that the global economy registered growth of 4% which was a result of the decline in oil and commodity prices, divergent growth in global economies, the appreciation of the US dollar against major currencies and a rise in interest rates and risk spread in many emerging market economies.

Erio described the economic growth in Sub Saharan Africa as encouraging, noting that the region’s growth of 5% had been sustained by infrastructure investments in the region, a growing agriculture sector with growth in exports and
encouraging developments in the services sector.

He added that the Ebola virus in 2014 had, however, overshadowed the positive economic performance in many African countries last year, as countries such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone grappled with the pandemic. The human and economic costs of the virus are still being counted across the region.

Erio said ZEP Re was steadily growing its footprint in the region.

“Our decentralised exercise aimed at ensuring the company establishes a physical presence in the growth key markets is also on course. Our regional hubs — namely the Eastern and Central hub operating from Nairobi, Kenya, the Southern hub operating from Harare, Zimbabwe, and the Western hub operating out of Abidjan, Ivory Coast — are now fully functional and contributed greatly to this good performance” said Erio at the recent AGM in Nairobi , Kenya.

Commenting on the performance of ZEP Re, Comesa secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya said: “I note with satisfaction that the company’s performance in 2014 has been nothing short of stellar. Indeed, it is satisfying to observe since inception until now the company has continued remaining true to its development role as outlined in its founding objectives while at the same time creating a niche for itself as one of the key reliable regional reinsurers on the African continent.

Based on these results, the ZEP Re board is recommending a dividend of $4,12 million for 2014.

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