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Continental Re unveils growth plans

By Providence Obuh

The Managing Director, Continental Reinsurance Plc Mr. Olufemi Oyetunji said its company is repositioning to take advantage of Nigeria’s great potentials.

Olufemi disclosed this during the company’s fact behind the figures presentation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE)on Monday, stating that one of its core business is to partner with the insurance company to help them grow.

According to him, “ we are working with the insurance companies to assist them overcome some of their challenges so that they can grow. Once they grow, we will benefit from their growth and take the industry to greater height.”

He further disclosed that Continental Reinsurance was rated “B” for financial strength and “BB+” for Issuer Credit by AM Best, adding that the company has a well diversified customer base of over 200 customers including many of Africa’s largest insurance industry.

According to him, “ our top 20 customers generated about 53 per cent of total written premiums in 2010. Continental Re writes business in 43 African countries as 35 per cent of total premium was generated outside Nigeria in 2010.”

Oyetunji revealed that its company has consistently maintained a non life premiums that averaged a growth of 41 per cent, with net investment income averaging a growth of 46 per cent. “ we have consistently declared and paid dividend top shareholders every year.

A dividend of 5.5 kobo was declared in 2009 and we would be proposing another dividend to our shareholders at the forth coming Annual General Meeting (AGM).” he added.

On the company’s financial position, he said, non life premium stood at N10.254 billion in 2010 as against N6.503 billion in 2009; Life premium was N1.391 billion as against 902 million in 2009; Investment income increased by 48.75 per cent to N1.013 billion in 2010 from N681 million in 2008, while return on equity per ordinary share grew to 10,7 per cent from 8.1 per cent in 2009.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rasheed Yussuff, Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) in his remark during the fact behind the figures presentation by Continental Reinsurance lamented on the apathy by investors for insurance stocks.

According to him, “ there is need for paradigm shift in the industry. Operators and investors are not happy with the insurance companies in our country because of the way the do business. They are good in technical aspect of the business and deficient in the financial aspect. The insurance companies lack financial products.

They seem to concentrate on premium collection and too conservative in its approach. It is time for the insurance industry to look at financial products that will attract the populace. The introduction on more products will help improve the image of the industry.

Meanwhile, trading resumed Monday on a bullish note as equities value represented by the market capitalisation appreciated by N4.09 billion. The capitalisation surged by 0.05 per cent to close at N8.252 trillion from N8.248 trillion at which it opened.

Another key performance indices the All share index garnered 0.05 per cent or 12.79 bases points to close at 25,826.50 points from 25,248 points.

The improvement recorded on price indices was occasioned by gains on the share price of major blue chip companies led by Bank PHB Plc with five per cent or N0.07 to close at N1.47 per share, Guinness Nigeria Plc followed with N10.25 to close at N215.25 per share and Custodian and Allied Product Plc garnered N1.10 to close at N23.13 per share.

Other share price gainers include: Oceanic Bank Plc N0.09, Afribank Plc N0.08, RT Briscoe Plc N0.10, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc N6.00, UAC Nigeria Plc N1.50, Law Union and Rocks Plc N0.02, Sterling Bank Plc N0.08, among others.


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