Britam mulls cross-listing of share in Tanzania and Uganda

Listed financial services firm Britam Holdings Limited is mulling over cross-listing its shares in neighbouring countries to give investors in the region a chance to buy into the company.

Group managing director Benson Wairegi said the company plans to list its stock in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

Britam has an operational presence in the region.

“When the opportunity is ripe we shall crosslist as this is something within our radar. We have been asked by regulators in these markets where we launched operations four years ago to consider listing,” Mr Wairegi told the Business Daily in an interview.

“We’re working on consolidating gains in these markets within the framework of our 2016-2020 strategy and future move across any of our markets will be communicated to our shareholders when the time comes.”

Britam, which is marking its 50th anniversary this year, has stepped up the expansion plans to consolidate recently acquired businesses.

Mr Wairegi said the company has in the pipeline real estate projects in Kenya which will see the group build commercial, mixed and residential developments within the next five years.

The 31-floor Britam Towers currently under construction in Upper Hill, Nairobi, is nearing completion.

The recent requirement that all importers and shipping companies should insure cargo destined to Kenya with Kenyan underwriters has also opened up new opportunities for the industry.

Britam has spent Sh3 billion on installation of a digitised platform for all operational processes. This is aimed at tapping emerging technologies that allow for seamless transactions on an online platform.

The online platform has already been activated for the staff and will soon be made available to customers allowing them to access their individual accounts, print statements as well as conduct transactions on a realtime basis from wherever they are.

Currently, Britam runs a short message service for its customers making enquiring about payments made for purchase of various products including unit trusts, insurance premiums and education policies.

Mr Wairegi says new industry regulations will have an impact on how insurance companies are run, with more focus being on risk management.

Under the risk-based regulation, insurance companies will no longer have a uniform capital level but each now has a separate capitalisation based on risk insured.

Life insurance companies were previously required to have a minimum Sh300 million reserve while general business firms had a reserve requirement of Sh150 million.

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