ZB seeks capital for Mozambique unit

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LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Mutandagayi said premiums in the past year remained flat due to the economic situation but overall ZB insurance and ZB Reinsurance products were doing well.

He said it was key for insurance companies to consider offering microinsurance products that suit the economy despite insurance being considered as a hard sell.

ZB had previously spent US$10m on starting the reinsurance business in Mozambique, but developments relating to the economy and security threats in that country threatened the unit’s existence.

ZB’s expansion is expected to help it grow revenues and spread risk. Optimum returns from the business are expected within the usual reinsurance cycle, the group said.

Despite the challenges that have been faced by Zimbabwean businesses in Mozambique, ZB is optimistic its model is feasible.

Meanwhile, Nicoz Diamond’s Mozambican Reinsurance outlet, Diamond Seguros, has been making losses since inception, though the company remains optimistic.

Zimre Holdings Limited, which has been struggling regionally, also plans to reinvest in its Mozambican reinsurance unit. The group holds a controlling 51% shareholding in the Mozambican firm, which it says is very profitable.

With the insurance penetration rate in Mozambique at less than three per cent, the market presents good opportunities for growth.

ZB said it was delighted with its gradual increase of presence in other regional markets from which it sources its business. In 2017, the USA lifted sanctions on ZB imposed in 2018.