LIVINGSTONE MARUFU/BLESSING MADZIWANZIRA
LISTED financial concern ZB Financial Holdings plans to establish a reinsurance unit in Mauritius during the third quarter of the calendar year as part of efforts to diversify its earnings and to create a foreign currency pool.
ZB Financial Holdings chief executive officer, Ron Mutandagayi, said the unit – ZB Re International Mauritius – will underwrite business from Port Louis. “We are moving towards setting up ZB Re International in Mauritius where we will be underwriting all regional business with premiums going into the accounts of that newly formed company.”
Mutandagayi said a private equity firm was currently assessing the group’s capacity and will also assist with the capital raising. The group is expecting to conclude the deal by August and a funding of over US$2 million is expected to be loaned to ZB.
Mauritius is the highest ranked economy in Sub-Saharan Africa on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. It attracts the highest numbers of investors in Africa due to one of the progressive investment environments on the continent.
Over the past 10 years total wealth held in Mauritius has risen by 195 percent in US dollar terms, making it the fastest growing wealth market in Africa and one of the top three worldwide with US$43 billion and per capita of US$33,000, making Mauritius the wealthiest country in Africa.
This is the market which ZB planning to tap into.
ZB’s expansion drive will help it grow revenues and spread risk. Optimum returns from the business are expected within the usual reinsurance cycle.
The development however comes after the group failed to raise the required US$1 million to establish a reinsurance unit in the neighbouring Mozambique due to crippling foreign currency shortages in Zimbabwe.
ZB has been underwriting Mozambique business from Harare since 2016.