Sanlam said it had fulfilled all conditions to acquire the remaining 53.37 percent of Morocco-based SAHAM Finances for an undisclosed amount. Photo: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN – JSE-listed financial services group Sanlam’s share price declined yesterday by 4.08percent, despite the group reporting volumes growth for most of its businesses for the 10 months to end October.

The share price closed at R76.84.

The group said: “During this period, we concluded the largest transaction in Sanlam’s history by finalising the acquisition of the remaining stake in Saham Finances.

“This transaction creates a unique footprint and competitive advantage for Sanlam across the African continent to drive future growth.”

Sanlam acquired a remaining 53.37 percent stake in Moroccan insurance company Saham Finances for $1.1billion (R15.07bn) in October. The acquisition expanded Sanlam’s presence to 33 countries across Africa.

“Saham Finances’ new business production remained in line with expectations,” the group said.

“The Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) management structure is being aligned to a new line of business focus to support the expanded cluster and to deliver on the strategic opportunities identified as part of the acquisition,” the group added.

In the update, SEM recorded overall new business growth of 14 percent, including the impact of structural activity of Saham Finances, Sanlam Investments East Africa and the Ghana disposal in 2017.

However, the group said in constant currency and excluding structural activity, new business volumes increased by 17 percent.

“Most regions and lines of business contributed to the growth in constant currency, apart from Kenya, Malawi life business and Tanzania general insurance business. This is in line with the trends reported in the group’s interim results for the six months to end June," said Sanlam. 

Sanlam’s Rest of Africa new business volumes increased by 46 percent and by 24 percent in constant currency basis, excluding structural activity.

The group said all clusters contributed strong growth, apart from Sanlam Investments Group, impacted by an R8.5bn withdrawal of lower margin passive mandates managed on behalf of an institutional client.

Sanlam’s normalised headline earnings declined by 10 percent and the group attributed it to a 55 percent decline in net investment return, while diluted headline earnings per share, which include fund transfers recognised in respect of Sanlam shares held in policyholder portfolios, also declined by 10percent.

Sanlam’s overall net fund inflows were 5percent higher to R36.2bn compared to last year’s R34.6bn.