NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Jubilee Holdings says it is looking at venturing into different markets in Africa by the end of the second half of the financial year.
The company\’s Chairman Nizar Juma said this would provide them with an opportunity to invest the huge capital they are holding.
"We are researching probably 20 markets of which we are going to choose seven. Two of which we are going to go into by the end of the second half of the financial year. So each year we will do two to three new markets until we have got 14 new markets by 2014," said Mr Juma.
The chairman was speaking during the company\’s Annual General Meeting where the shareholders approved a dividend of Sh5.50 per share.
During the meeting Mr Juma urged the Treasury to consider allowing third party insurance in the upcoming Budget in June.
"We feel that bank assurance is something that will help the penetration of the insurance market into the mainstream market. Bank assurance means that banks are allowed to sell the insurance product officially. What we are asking is that it be legalised that banks be allowed to sell the insurance product because they have more branches than insurance retailers do so hence access to a larger market," he said.
The company\’s profits stood at Sh2.1 billion in the year ended December 31, an 84 percent growth in 2010.
Jubilee recorded growth across all regions with Gross Written Premium increasing by 25 percent to Sh11.5 billion. Jubilee also increased its leadership in medical insurance by 28 percent to reach Sh2.567 billion.
Life insurance demonstrated a strong growth of 28 percent to reach a Sh3.639 billion compared to Sh2.840 billion in 2009. The Group\’s total assets grew by 30 percent and now stand at Sh30.7 billion.
Mr Juma said: "Jubilee now provides insurance protection to more than 300,000 clients across East Africa, as reflected in the strong growth across all business lines, and we will continue to increase our footprint to address the insurance needs of existing and potential customers. We believe that this is the result of innovative product range, our service delivery and market credibility in our reliability and long term track record."
Jubilee has also initiated a re-branding exercise, aimed at repositioning its brand across the region. "This rebranding is the next step in Jubilee\’s long history which has its roots in Africa and is part of an international group that plans to build a globally recognised insurance brand," Mr Juma said.