SA insurer Liberty Holdings targets expansion in West Africa.

By bne IntelliNews August 6, 2012
South African Liberty Holdings, the third-largest life insurer by market value in Africa, plans to expand in West Africa, targeting the high-growth economies of the heavily populated countries of Nigeria and Ghana, Business Day reported. The companys CEO Bruce Hemphill said that the expansion will have to be made through acquisitions, as the countries are not issuing new insurance licences. He added that Liberty, which has operations in 14 African countries excluding South Africa with a total of ZAR 39bn assets under management, is underrepresented in West Africa, where the projected GDP growth rate is seen higher than in China. Liberty plans to partner for the expansion with its majority owner, South Africas banking group Standard Bank, which is Africas biggest bank by assets and operates in 18 sub-Saharan countries. The opportunity cost of not being there is huge, Hemphill was quoted as saying. In Nigeria, Liberty has a partnership in its health insurance business. It is also eyeing opportunities for growth of its asset management business in Ghana.

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