Africa’s top reinsurer, WAICA Reinsurance Corporation Plc (WAICA Re), has concluded the first tranche of its three-phase capitalisation project with a subscription success level of 90 per cent.
The capitalisation process started in 2016, through a Rights Issue, which involved the issue of 14,472,816 ordinary shares at $1.52 per share at a ratio of 0.5669 new share for every one existing share held.
This offer was to raise additional share capital of $21,998,680 to support the Corporation’s strategic drive and business expansion.
At the end of the offer, 13,031,190 shares were subscribed valued at $19,807,408.80, representing a success rate of 90 per cent, the chairman of the Company, Kofi Duffor, said at its Annual General Meeting held in Accra, Ghana.
Established by the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA), the company commenced operations with modest capital pooled from member companies and the public in July 2011. Its capital base was later raised to $25 million in December 2013.
Duffor said despite the exchange rate volatility, which affected the dollar denominated figures of premiums generated, “we recorded a 47 per cent growth in gross premium income from $33.5 million in 2015 to $49.2 million in 2016.
“In the WAICA Re member countries, Sierra Leone recorded the highest level of growth of 153 per cent, followed by Liberia 60 per cent, then Gambia 26 per cent, Ghana 23 per cent and Nigeria eight per cent. This is reflective of our continuous effort to grow the business in our home markets.
He said the eight per cent moderate growth from Nigeria was as a result of the significant naira depreciation during the period under review. “Despite the difficult economic conditions in Nigeria, our team there is doing an excellent job in mitigating the impact and we see good growth opportunities in 2017.
“In line with our strategic objectives of growing the business beyond the Anglophone West Africa region, we attained a notable growth level in the Francophone Africa region in 2016. The French region grew by an impressive 205 per cent while earnings from other overseas countries also grew by 80 per cent.”
According to him, while Nigeria and Ghana continued to be its major markets, collectively contributing 48 per cent of the 2016 premium income, the Francophone and the Diaspora regions (comprising other African countries and some stable/selected countries in the Middle East and Asia) are now significant premium income contributors. They brought in 11 per cent and 37 per cent respectively to the gross premium income.
He further said that focus on strategic marketing remained unswerving in its quest to grow the company, and provide appreciable returns on investment to shareholders.