Zimre rebrands reinsurance operations

Zimre Holdings Limited (ZHL) is consolidating its reinsurance operations under Emeritus Reinsurance International, as it seeks to innovatively grow its market share and profitability.

BY MELODY CHIKONO

The rebranding, which started in other countries in the region, saw Baobab Reinsurance being transformed into Emeritus Reinsurance and is expected to be listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Emeritus Reinsurance managing director, Leo Huvaya said the rebranding would see the group have a strengthened capital position to match top regional insurers and enjoy benefits from economies of scale and synergies.

“It will be a platform to mobilise capital for enhanced business capacity and business expansion. We are going to pursue and overtake and gain lost market share lost due to sanctions we were slapped with in 2008,” he said.

ZHL was in 2008 placed under US sanctions due to perceived links with the government, which has a 43% shareholding in the group.

The removal of sanctions in 2017 prompted the company management to phase out the multi-branding approach and adopt the current mono branding strategies for its reinsurance operations, which are expected to propel further the company’s financial standing.

Meanwhile, the government is relooking at the creation and supporting of a national reinsurance company with legal a cession status.

Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development minister Mike Bimha said the government would take a leaf from countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

“In developing countries the case for governments supporting the building the strong institutions, which spearhead economic growth and globally competitive reinsurance company is now fashionable. At regional and continental levels we have also seen the creation of these entities supported by governments such as Ecowas (WAICA Re), Africa Union (Africa Re), Comesa (ZEP Re) and French speaking countries (CICA Re),” he said in a speech read on his behalf by Constance Zhanje, the director of consumer affairs in the ministry.

Bimha said the insurance industry needed to be positioned to deal with new challenges and emerging risks arising from the spectre of global warning, terrorism and the economic and social effects of diseases such as Ebola virus.

He said the industry, therefore, needs to constantly transform and be innovative in order to effectively respond to the emerging challenges.

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