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Iain Williamson-led Old Mutual plans strategic acquisition in West Africa to deepen operations

Old Mutual is a pan-African investment, savings, insurance and banking group.

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South African businessman Iain Williamson.

South Africa-based pan-African investment group Old Mutual Limited has unveiled plans to expand operations in West Africa through at least two strategic acquisitions in the next five years to boost its dominance in the region, according to MoneyWeb.

Old Mutual is a pan-African investment, savings, insurance and banking group based in Johannesburg. It offers general financial services in about 17 countries, mainly in Africa and China.

The decision to take on new acquisitions in West Africa came after the Iain Williamson-led group recognized a unique opportunity in the region that gives it room to benefit from the insurance industry’s growth potential.

The largest market in the region, Nigeria has one of the lowest insurance penetrations globally, with only one percent of the population having any form of risk cover.

Earlier this year, the Johannesburg-based group disclosed that it will consider acquisitions and strategic partnerships where necessary to build scale, fill proposition gaps for customers and acquire new capabilities to deepen its involvement in the African insurance industry.

This follows a similar decision by another South African group, Sanlam, as insurers seek growth opportunities to diversify systemic risk and uncertainties heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the group, the acquisitions, which will be subject to board and regulatory approval, will enable the company to boost its underwriting business in Ghana and Nigeria, putting the group in a position to migrate to other financial services in the region.

The management noted that all opportunities will be measured against a strict acquisition framework, which ensures that any acquisitions considered must meet its targeted four-percent return of the equity cost.

Samuel Ogbu, CEO of Old Mutual West Africa, said the market size controlled by the South African insurer in West Africa is a key consideration for customers choosing regional insurers.

“This is a market where if you are outside the leading companies, then you really struggle to get attention, not only from the corporate sector but also from the retail sector. We have held talks with several parties and we are likely to make acquisitions,” he said.

In the first half of 2021, Old Mutual posted a profit of R2.98 billion ($202.56 million), compared to the loss of R5.62 billion ($381.85 million) that it recorded in the first half of 2020.

The group had R32.46 billion ($2.21 billion) in cash and cash equivalents as of June 2021, giving it a unique advantage to deepen operations in West Africa through strategic acquisitions.

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Kenyan banking exec Andrew Ndegwa gains $1.5 million in 43 days from investment in NCBA Group

Ndegwa, an executive director of First Chartered Securities Limited, owns 4.3 percent of NCBA Group.

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Andrew Ndegwa.

After losing a sizable portion of its market capitalization in the first half of 2022, NCBA Group has seen its share price soar above its opening price at the start of this year.

NCBA Group is a financial services conglomerate based in Kenya.

Due to the recent gains in the company’s share price, Kenyan banking tycoon Andrew Ndegwa has seen the market value of his stake in the conglomerate increase by more than $1.5 million over the past 43 days.

As of press time on Aug. 12, shares in NCBA Group were trading at Ksh26.2 ($0.22), 4.73-percent less than their opening price this morning as wary investors took advantage of the high price to sell off some of their positions in the bank.

Since June 30, shares in the Nairobi-based financial services provider have risen by 11 percent, from Ksh23.6 ($0.198) per share to Ksh26.2 ($0.22) per share, driven by a resurgence in buying interest among market participants.

Ndegwa, an executive director of First Chartered Securities Limited, owns 4.3 percent of NCBA Group. He has seen the market value of his stake rise from Ksh1.67 billion ($14.02 million) on June 30 to Ksh1.86 billion ($15.57 million) due to the recent bullish sentiment on the NSE floor.

As a result, the banking tycoon has gained a total of Ksh184.36 million ($1.54 million) over the past 43 days, solidifying his status once more as one of the wealthiest investors on the NSE.

Meanwhile, James Ndegwa, his brother and the former head of Kenya’s capital markets authority, has seen his 4.23-percent stake in NCBA Group increase by $1.47 million over this same period.

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Led by Egyptian Khamis family, Oriental Weavers set to withdraw investments from China

Oriental Weavers operates under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

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Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

The board of directors of Oriental Weavers has decided to withdraw its investments in China as the management implements measures to maximize earnings and revenues in line with its strategic growth roadmap. 

Operating under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis and other family members of the late Mohammed Farid Khamis, Oriental Weavers is a leading carpet manufacturer and distributor with active operations in about 150 countries worldwide.

According to the plan to withdraw its investments from China, the company declared that it will accept already made offers to buy out its stake in Oriental Weavers China, and further information will be released after the deal has been completed.

Through this decision, the company will sell its Chinese manufacturing facilities, Oriental Weavers (Tianjin) Company Limited (Oriental Weavers China), to local investors.

The decision to withdraw its investments in Mainland China was made almost eight months after the company’s board gave the management permission to study the situation and decide whether to sell or liquidate Oriental Weavers China.

Oriental Weavers’ exit from China will be crucial to lowering operating costs as it seeks to cut ties with the Asian economy as a result of brewing regulatory tensions in China and escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

According to Yasmine Al-Gohary, Oriental Weavers’ investor relations manager, the decision to withdraw its investments from China can be attributed to the high operating costs in the country, particularly following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

According to Al-Gohary, the operations in China, which make up just 0.3 percent of the group’s total assets and only contribute one percent of its revenue, were also impacted by the frequent factory closures and shortening of working hours.

Al-Gohary added that the business also intended to invest $10 million this year to place itself on the path of growth and increase its production capacity to keep up with market demand.

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Mike Adenuga beats out Abdul Samad Rabiu to reemerge as Nigeria’s second-richest billionaire

His net worth has dropped by more than $400 million this year as Globacom’s share price sank.

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Mike Adenuga. ©Billionaires.Africa

Telecom mogul Mike Adenuga has reemerged as Nigeria’s second-richest man after three weeks in the third position. Now, he trails only Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, who tops the list of Nigeria’s wealthiest people, with a net worth of $19.8 billion.

The leading businessman, who is the founder of Nigeria’s second-largest telecom services provider Globacom, has surpassed billionaire industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu, whose net worth has fallen from more than $7 billion to $5.8 billion in less than three months.

Adenuga’s reemergence as Africa’s second-richest man comes nearly two months after an exclusive report by Billionaires.Africa confirmed that Rabiu had surpassed the telecom and oil mogul to become the country’s second-wealthiest billionaire.

According to Forbes, Adenuga, who derives the majority of his fortune from his mobile phone network, Globacom, and his oil exploration company, Conoil Plc, has surpassed Rabiu as Nigeria’s richest man, with a net worth of $6.3 billion, compared to Rabiu’s $5.8 billion.

Adenuga, like Rabiu, has recorded a significant decline in his net worth in recent months. However, his the drop in his wealth has been less severe than Rabiu’s, who has lost more than $1.2 billion of his fortune over the past two months.

The revaluation of his interest in Globacom has caused his net worth to fall by more than $400 million since the start of the year, from $6.7 billion to $6.3 billion at the time of writing.

Nearly two weeks ago, Conoil reported a double-digit percent increase in earnings in the first half of 2022 despite a significant decrease in top-line performance during the period under review.

Despite a double-digit decline in revenue, profit increased by 70.5 percent to N1.81 billion ($4.35 million) in the first half of 2022 from N1.06 billion ($2.55 million) in the first half of 2021, according to the company’s half-year financial report.

The group’s cost-cutting strategies, which reduced sales-related, administrative, and distribution costs, can be attributed to its double-digit increase in earnings as management continued to create value for shareholders.

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