SA Old Mutual to invest EUR 424mn in sub-Saharan Africa expansion in 3-5 years.

By bne IntelliNews March 4, 2013
South African insurance, banking and asset management group Old Mutual said it has set aside ZAR 5bn (EUR 423.6mn) to fund expansion in high growth markets in East and West Africa in the next three to five years. The company explained it had allocated ZAR 2bn in a strategic investment fund, which will be used to acquire minority stakes in businesses in African markets, and ZAR 3bn in another fund that will be used to buy majority stakes in businesses. Old Mutual said it believes that the prospects for growth in Africa are underpinned by sustainable, structural factors, including a growing population, with more workers entering the formal economy for the first time and who are keen to protect their wealth and assets, strong GDP growth in a number of countries, improving political stability, and an underpenetrated financial sector for the majority of the population. Old Mutual has more than 1.3 million customers in the southern area of sub-Saharan Africa, outside South Africa. It said its rest of Africa customer numbers grew 13% y/y in 2012 with Zimbabwe and Kenya accounting for most of the growth. Profits in the region rose 39% to GBP 43mn in 2012 and funds under management (FUM) grew 19% to GBP 2.9bn. Old Mutual targets to achieve profits in Africa equivalent to 15% of Old Mutual South Africa (OMSA) profits by 2015, up from 10% in 2012. Old Mutual, which owns insurance, banking and fund management businesses across four continents, posted an adjusted operating profit for 2012 of GBP 1.6bn, up 18% y/y, driven by a strong performance from its majority-owned South African banking group Nedbank and good growth at its emerging markets businesses.

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