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Sanlam (SLM) has completed its R2bn investment to acquire a 26% stake in Indian financial services company Shriram‚ in a deal that consolidates the group’s market position in the world’s largest democracy.

Sanlam on Tuesday said it had received the outstanding regulatory approvals for it to acquire the stake through Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM)‚ the unit which it is using to expand into markets in Africa and Asia.

Sanlam is also expected to conclude another deal to buy 49% of Malaysian insurer Pacific & Orient.

Sanlam had about R4bn in discretionary capital as of June to fund organic and acquisitive growth.

Heinie Werth‚ CEO of SEM‚ said concluding the transaction with Shriram‚ meant a more meaningful exposure for Sanlam in India. “The transaction will strengthen our relationship with Shriram. Strategically‚ Sanlam previously entered into insurance joint ventures with the Shriram group to participate in and benefit from the growing financial services industry in India‚” he said. - I-Net Bridge