BY Cynthia Alo
Universal Insurance Plc is set to raise N3.5 billion through combination of rights issue and share reconstruction in a bid to meet the June 2020 recapitalisation deadline of the National Insurance Commission.
Acting Chairman of the company, Mr. Anthony Okocha disclosed this in a statement saying: “Shareholders gave their approval during the company’s 49th annual general meeting in Lagos.
The statement reads: “The board had sought and obtained the shareholders’ approval to raise the company’s capital through right issues, share reconstruction, to raise additional equity capital for the company up to the maximum limit of the authorised share capital, whether by way of special placement or public offer with or without a preferential allotment/or rights issue or a combination of any of them.
Okocha explained that the company has over N30 billion registered shares, and out of which, N16 billion has been issued while N14 billion is still warehoused and could be brought up for issuance if need be.
He disclosed that the company has in its kitty, N6.5billion and would need N3.5billion to make up for the recapitalization requirement as a general business insurer.
On steps to beat the June 30, 2020, deadline, Okocha stated, “More discussion is ongoing but could not be disclosed prematurely. We are also looking at right issues; the company is in discussion with core investors and probable foreign influence into your company.”
Commenting on financials, he said, “Notwithstanding the shape and colour of the global economy in 2018 and its effect on the macroeconomic landscape in Nigeria, your company recorded about 45 percent increase in gross written premium from N753 million in 2017 to N1.689 billion in 2018.
“Claims expense decreased from N463 million in 2017 to N263 million in 2018. However, our underwriting expense rose from N166 million in 2017 to N452 million in 2018.”
Okocha said the company would continually invest in information technology to create an insurance-driven by technology that will ensure seamless services.
Also speaking, Managing Director and Chief Executive of the company, Mr. Ben Ujoatuonu, disclosed that the management is strategizing to develop new products with 12 new products awaiting the NAICOM’s approval as a measure to deepen the market.
Ujoatuonu, disclosed also that the company has obtained approval from the regulatory agency to underwrite agric insurance.