Munich Are withdraws from Russian business

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

Leading reinsurer Munich Re announced that it is withdrawing from its business in Russia because of the Ukraine war.

“Existing contracts in Russia and Belarus will not be renewed,” the Munich-based company said on its website Wednesday. The same applies to Munich Re’s investments in the region.

Exceptions will only be made if ending business “would negatively affect persons or companies worthy of protection” and provided this would be permissible under the current sanctions, the company explained.

“The events of the last few days have unsettled us all deeply,” Munich Re chief executive Joachim Wenning said in a statement. “Russia’s invasion constitutes a violation of international law.”

Munich Re also voiced its support for the sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western nations, “also in the knowledge that they will not remain without consequences for our national economies.”

Curacel launches Curacel Grow to help distribute insurance products

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

African insurance infrastructure startup, Curacel, is taking insurance business in Nigeria to a new level with the launch of Curacel Grow.

Curacel Grow, is an embedded insurance product that empowers technology companies to seamlessly offer insurance as part of their existing products and services.

The startup is also part of the Winter 2022 cohort of Silicon Valley’s prestigious Y Combinator accelerator, joining the growing list of successful African startups that have participated in and benefitted from the program.

Curacel is launching Grow to support more effective distribution of insurance to millions of Africans through partners like Barter by Flutterwave, Float, Payhippo and other leading technology companies. The startup will also enable seamless embedding of insurance in customer user journeys. With Curacel Grow, airlines will be able to offer travel insurance to their customers through simple APIs.

Automotive dealers will also be able to seamlessly sell insurance to customers as a value-added service. Curacel has built its market leading infrastructure that powers claims and fraud protection for forward thinking insurers like AXA Mansard and Old Mutual, and this expansive network of underwriters enables the distribution of insurance at scale.

Insurance penetration in Africa currently stands at less than 3 percent, with most policies sold offline and manually via brokers and agents. This cumbersome process makes insurance products expensive and out of reach for many price-sensitive Africans. As a result, market penetration of insurance products in Africa is half of the global average and premiums per capita are 11 times lower than the global average. The insurance industry in Africa also represents less than one percent of insured catastrophe losses worldwide, although it’s home to almost 17 percent of the global population. This suggests that there is significant scope for growth.

With Grow, insurers can accelerate the distribution of their products by taking advantage of Curacel’s technology to easily embed insurance within other digital experiences in a more accessible way. Technology companies can also increase their recurring revenue by offering the protection their consumers need without the hassle of finding integration and negotiating terms with insurers and brokers. The solution is designed to integrate seamlessly with any technology platform and Curacel’s AI-powered infrastructure means claims can be submitted and processed in real time.

Commenting on the new product, Henry Mascot, CEO and co-founder of Curacel, said, “risk protection is a major consideration for Africa’s growing middle class. As it becomes easier to access credit and other financial services to enable new experiences, we want to make it easier to protect these experiences and enjoy them with full confidence. The success of various technology companies over the years has opened the door to many previously underserved people and we want to take advantage of this to accelerate the penetration of much needed insurance products across the continent.”

Curacel has a presence in 8 countries across Africa, enabling insurers to connect with digital distribution channels and administer their claims cost-effectively.

Hospitality, Leisure, Tourism most affect by Pandemic- Allianz Risk barometer 2022

-by admin

 

This risk receives the top ranking after Covid-19 led to large-scale business closures and supply chain disruption globally and brought tourism and aviation industries to an abrupt halt.

However, while the pandemic continues to overshadow the economic outlook in this industry, encouragingly, businesses do feel they have adapted well.

“When asked how prepared their company is for a future event, the majority (80%) of Allianz Risk Barometer respondents believe they are ‘adequately’ or ‘well prepared’, although only 9% feel ‘very well prepared’. However, just 11% feel ‘inadequately prepared’. Initiating or improving business continuity management is the main action companies are taking to make them more resilient,” says Thusang Mahlangu, Chief Executive Officer at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) South Africa.

The Allianz Risk Barometer is an annual survey from AGCS which incorporates the views of 2,650 experts in 89 countries and territories, including CEOs, risk managers, brokers and insurance experts, on the top risks facing their company or industry sector. For the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector, 57% of respondents ranked pandemic outbreak as the top risk, followed by business interruption (BI) (39%) and cyber (25%). Natural catastrophes (22%) and climate change (18%) closes out the top five risks in the sector in fourth and fifth positions respectively. View the full industry sector, global and country risk rankings. Watch the video.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2019 the travel and tourism industry accounted for about seven percent of Africa’s GDP and contributed $169 billion to its economy and employed more than 24 million people. However, in July 2020, the African Union estimated that Africa lost nearly $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues and two million jobs in only the first three months of the pandemic. According to the UN’s World Tourism Organization survey most people said they did not expect to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2023 at best. 41% of respondents said they expect the return to normal only in 2024 or later.

Business interruption ranks as the second most concerning risk in the industry. According to the survey, the most feared cause of BI is cyber incidents, demonstrating the impact of companies’ growing reliance on digitalization and the shift to remote working. Natural catastrophes and pandemic are the two other important triggers for BI in the view of respondents, also reflecting the fact that many of the top risks and consequences for the industry are interlinked

Cyber incidents is a new entry into the top five risks for hospitality, leisure and tourism companies in third position The main driver is the recent surge in ransomware attacks. Recent attacks have shown worrying trends such as ‘double extortion’ tactics combining the encryption of systems with data breaches. In addition, there is also a trend for supply chain incidents where hackers target technology or software supply chains, physical critical infrastructure or digital single points of failure; exploiting software vulnerabilities which potentially affect thousands of companies (for example, Log4J, Kaseya). Cyber security also ranks as companies’ major environmental, social and governance (ESG) concern with respondents acknowledging the need to build resilience and plan for future outages or face the growing consequences from regulators, investors and other stakeholders.

“Ransomware has become a big business for cyber criminals, who are refining their tactics, lowering the barriers to entry for as little as a $40 subscription and little technological knowledge. The commercialization of cyber crime makes it easier to exploit vulnerabilities on a massive scale,” explains Santho Mohapeloa, Senior Cyber Underwriter at AGCS.

Natural catastrophes ranks fourth as recent years have shown the frequency and severity of weather events are increasing due to global warming. For 2021, global insured catastrophe losses were well in excess of $100bn – the fourth highest year on record. Allianz Risk Barometer respondents are concerned about climate-change related weather events causing damage to corporate property (57%), followed by BI and supply chain impact (41%). However, they are also worried about managing the transition of their businesses to a low-carbon economy (36%), fulfilling complex regulation and reporting requirements and avoiding potential litigation risks for not adequately taking action to address climate change (34%).

“The pressure on businesses to act on climate change has increased noticeably over the past year, with a growing focus on net-zero contributions,” observes Thusang. “There is a clear trend for companies towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in operations or exploring business opportunities for climate-friendly technologies and sustainable products. In the coming years, many corporate decision-makers will be looking even more closely at the impact of climate risks in their value chain and taking appropriate precautions. Many companies are building up dedicated competencies around climate risk mitigation, bringing together both risk management and sustainability experts.”

Businesses also have to become more weatherproof against extreme events such as flooding. “Previous once-in-a-century-events may well occur more frequently in future and also in regions which were considered ‘safe’ in the past. Both buildings and business continuity planning need to become more robust in response,” says Thusang.

Custodian Investment Plc declares final dividend payment of N0.40 to shareholders

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Custodian Investment Plc has announced a final dividend payment of N0.40 kobo per 50 kobo ordinary share for the financial year ended December 2021.

This takes the total dividend to N0.50 kobo, made up of the interim dividend of N0.10 per share which was paid on the 1st of September 2021, and a final dividend of N0.40 per ordinary share, subject to withholding tax and approval of shareholders.

According to the disclosure filed with The Exchange (NGX), shareholders are to ensure their names are registered in the Register of Members by the qualification date of March 25, 2022.

On Friday, April 8, 2022, the dividend which amounts to N2.35 billion will be disbursed electronically to ordinary shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at Friday, March 25th 2022, and those who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their bank accounts.

The company’s registrar is Meristem Registrars and Probate Services Ltd and the e-dividend mandate form can be downloaded or filled online on the registrar’s website.

Custodian Investment Plc has 5,881,864,195 outstanding shares and a market capitalization of N42.35 billion at the time of filing this report. The company’s shares opened trading on the 14th of March, 2022 at N7.20 per share and closed at N7.20 per share.

Custodian Investment Plc had released its Audited 2021 financial results earlier, for the period ended 31 December 2021, reporting a profit of N10.05 billion, representing 21% decline year on year. Revenue of N11.60 billion was reported in the full-year period compared to N10.19 billion in the same period of 2020.

Earnings per share was recorded as N1.83kobo against N1.96kobo recorded in the corresponding period of 2020.
Year-to-date, the company’s shares have declined by 8.86% from N7.90 at the beginning of the year to N7.20 as at the time of writing this report.

Russian insurers banned from dealing with foreign companies

By admin

 

Russian insurers are no longer allowed to do business with insurers, reinsurers and brokers from states deemed hostile to Russia.

This decision follows a wave of economic sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The countries involved include the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan and all European Union (EU) states. The legislation signed by President Putin also gives the Bank of Russia’s Board of Directors the authority to decide which bonds are not subject to transfer by an insurer to a national insurance or reinsurance company.

The bank is also authorized to determine the data that financial organizations have the right to withhold from the general public. The aim is to prevent hostile states from imposing sanctions using such data.

Several European and American insurance companies have declared the suspension of their activities with Russian companies. They include Swiss Re, Hannover Re, Allianz, Zurich Insurance, Generali, Willis Towers Watson (WTW), Marsh McLennan and Aon.