JOHANNESBURG - Financial services company MMI Holdings said on Wednesday its diluted core headline earnings per share fell three percent to 97 cents in the six months ended 31 December 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.

The group, whose core businesses are long and short-term insurance, asset management, savings, investment, healthcare administration and employee benefits, said given its current discount to embedded value it had opted to buy back shares in lieu of paying out cash dividends.

"We understand the importance of our decision to our shareholders and have not taken this decision lightly," it said.

"In our opinion this is currently the most efficient use of capital and will enhance value for shareholders."

MMI Holdings said it planned to distribute R2 billion to shareholders through open market share buy-backs during the next 12 months.

- African News Agency (ANA)