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Who are the top 10 non-life insurance companies in Uganda?

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Mr Latimer Mukasa, the Chief Executive Officer of MUA Insurance. The firm which rebranded in October 2018 is in the 7th position, having underwritten UGX18.54 billion. The firm however declared losses in 2018 of UGX889.69 million loss.

The top 10 non-life insurance companies, control 87.7% of the category, having underwritten UGX499.8 billion in premiums- out of a total of UGX569.96bn in non-life category premiums.

They are: Jubilee Insurance, UAP General Insurance, Sanlam General Insurance, Britam Insurance, Goldstar Insurance, ICEA General Insurance, MUA Insurance, Statewide Insurance, NIC General and APA Insurance in that order.

The insurance industry in Uganda in a snapshot. The industry is top-heavy with just 3 of 21 insurance firms – Jubilee, UAP and Sanlam controlling over 60% of the market

The top 10 non-life players grew their premiums by 12.2%, lower than the industry average growth- as life insurance continued to eat into non-life insurance.

According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority, non-life insurance accounted for UGX570 billion (66.6%), while life accounted for UGX216.9 billion (25.3%) and Health Membership Organisations (HMO’s) Shs69.1bn (8.1%). Dedicated micro insurance organizations underwrote Shs24.31 million.

Left-Right: Julius Magabe, the Regional Executive for Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), IRA Chief Executive Officer, Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega, Sanlam Insurance Uganda CEO Gary Corbit, and Junior Ngulube, CEO of SEM cut a cake during the company’s rebranding last year. The merger cum acquisition of Lion Assurance, by Sanlam in 2017 has propelled Sanlam General Insurance to the 3rd position with UGX 71.48 billion in premiums in 2018. The firm also recovered from a  UGX1.58 billion loss in 2017, to post a profit of UGX5.56 billion, becoming the 3rd most profitable firm in 2018.   

Life and HMOs grew faster than the industry at 28.7% and 31.3% respectively. The entire industry grew by 17.5% while non-life business grew by 12.36%

Two (2) companies underwrote premiums in excess of UGX100bn while nine (9) companies underwrote between UGX10 billion to UGX50 billion.  Six (6) companies underwrote premiums below UGX10bn while one company underwrote UGX1 billion.

Nine (9) companies made underwriting profits while 12 companies made underwriting losses. Total industry profitability stood at UGX39.7 billion while losses stood at UGX19.8 billion.

Top-heavy industry

The biggest chunk of the top 10, is controlled by the largest 5 insurance companies, who in between them control 71.95% of the market (UGX411.4 billion) – a growth of 12.73%. Like in the banking industry which is also top heavy, the industry is largely dominated by the top 3 players- Jubilee, UAP and Sanlam who in between them control nearly 60% of the entire market.


The top 10 non-life insurance companies, control 87.7% of the category, having underwritten UGX499.8 billion in premiums- out of a total of UGX569.96bn in non-life category premiums. Two (2) companies underwrote premiums in excess of UGX100bn while nine (9) companies underwrote between UGX10 billion to UGX50 billion.  Six (6) companies underwrote premiums below UGX10bn while one company underwrote UGX1 billion.

Such is the disparity that, Jubilee Insurance, the No.1 player- UGX146.6 billion in 2018 premiums, is bigger than the 15 insurance companies from the bottom of the table combined. The 14 companies, some of whom have been around for over a decade, together underwrote UGX136.6 billion in premiums.

The fastest growing company among the top 10 was Britam Insurance which grew written premiums by 29% from UGX44 billion in 2017 to UGX56.8 billion. Fast-growing Britam Insurance in 2017 briefly held the 3rd position, having overtaken Lion Assurance to occupy the position held by AIG Insurance which exited the market.

But following the November 2017 acquisition cum merger of fourth-placed Lion Assurance Company and fifth-placed Sanlam Insurance, created a stronger No.3 Sanlam.

AIG has since re-entered the market as a Greenfield operation.

The top 10 in numbers and profits

The Aga Khan owned Jubilee Insurance maintained its top position, growing premiums by 9.8% from UGX133.47bn to UGX 146.6 billion. Jubilee Insurance, also remained the most profitable insurance firm, increasing their underwriting profit by 69.25% from UGX10.5 billion in 2017 to UGX17.8 billion- accounting for 44.9% of the UGX39.66 billion profits, made by the 9 profitable firms.

MIXED FORTUNES: Nine (9) companies made underwriting profits while 12 companies made underwriting losses. Total industry profitability stood at UGX39.7 billion while losses stood at UGX19.8 billion.

UAP General Insurance was the 2nd biggest in premiums underwritten at UGX111.97 billion, up 8.29% from UGX103.4 billion in 2017. UAP was also the second most profitable, general insurance firm, increasing their net revenue by 122.4% from UGX4.86bn in 2017 to UGX10.82 billion.

UAP & Jubilee were the only 2 firms that underwrote premiums above UGX100 billion in 2017 and 2018.

Sanlam in the 3rd position with UGX 71.48 billion in premiums, also recovered from a  UGX1.58 billion loss in 2017, to post a profit of UGX5.56 billion, becoming the 3rd most profitable firm in 2018 as well.  

Britam Insurance, in the 4th position with UGX56.8 billion premiums was also the 4th most profitable firm, having increased their underwriting profit by 114.98%, from UGX1.39 billion to UGX2.98 billion.

Goldstar Insurance in the 5th position, underwrote UGX24.54 billion; their profit slightly reduced from UGX2 billion to UGX1.46 billion but remained the 5th most profitable insurance firm in 2018.

ICEA in the 6th position underwrote UGX21.91 billion, MUA Insurance in the 7th position underwrote UGX18.54 billion while Statewide Insurance in the 8th position, underwrote UGX16.47 billion.

NIC General in the 9th position underwrote UGX15.99 billion while APA Insurance in the 10th position, underwrote UGX15.49 billion.              

Four (4) of the top 10 companies by premiums, made losses. They are ICEA General Insurance whose loss position widened from UGX1.59 billion in 2017 to UGX2.47 billion, MUA Insurance who posted a UGX889.69 million loss, NIC General who narrowed their losses from UGX2.49 billion in 2018 to UGX1.08 billion and APA Insurance who went from a UGX1.11 billion profit in 2017 to a UGX632 million loss. 

Four (4) firms that are not in the top 10, but were profitable, include: Alliance Africa General Insurance that posted a UGX680.39 million, Statewide Insurance which posted UGX176.43 million profit, Excel Insurance that posted UGX115.94 million in profits and Rio Insurance, UGX29.81 million in profits.                 

Agricultural insurance struggles to grow

A total of UGX 5.24bn was underwritten in 2018 under the Uganda Agricultural Insurance Scheme (UAIS) compared to UGX 5.20bn in 2017.

This was against the sum insured of UGX 387bn in 2018 and UGX 235.7bn in 2017.

UAIS) a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Uganda Insurers Association (UIA), the Government of Uganda that subsidises premiums for farmers for a five (5) year period starting in FY 2016/17. 

Total Claims paid amounted to UGX 2bn (with Poultry accounting for over 67.3%) compared to UGX 1.9bn and multi-peril crop insurance accounting for 84%) in 2017 claims. The scheme has grown coverage from about 5,000 farmers in 2015/16 to an expected coverage of 100,000 farmers by the end of FY 2018/19.

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EXCLUSIVE: Oberthur, the French money printer named in BoU currency scandal is serving a 30-months World Bank ban over corruption

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SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL: Bank of Uganda Governor, Professor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and his Deputy, Dr. Louis Kasekende have increasingly come under public scrutiny with scandal after scandal in the last 3 years- the latest being the mismanagement of currency printing with a possibility of several billions missing.

Oberthur Technologies SA (Oberthur), the French digital security company at the centre of what is now unfolding to be a currency printing scandal is serving a 2.5 year ban by the World Bank and its partner agencies over corruption related scandals.

According to a report by The Independent Magazine, in Kampala, it is Oberthur who chartered the Kuehne & Nagel cargo plane but failed to guarantee the contractual exclusivity owed to Bank of Uganda. Additional reports and police sources however, indicate investigations have now been widened to include printing of “non-official but genuine currency notes” which could only have been done, by Oberthur.

This further raises questions whether BoU did enough due diligence about Oberthur before awarding them the deal to print the country’s currency notes or if indeed BoU deliberately awarded the deal to Oberthur, well aware of their reputational gaps, which it sought to take advantage of.

Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo addresses media on June 14th regarding the BoU currency notes scandal. His version of events, has now come under question following a Uganda Police press conference today

According to investigations by CEO East Africa Magazine, under a deal reached in November 2017, with World Bank Group, Oberthur cannot participate in any World Bank funded project until May 2020, over what World Bank calls “corrupt and collusive practices under the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services Project (IDEA), a project designed to establish a secure, accurate and reliable national ID system in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.”

The sanction according to a November 30th 2017 statement from World Bank, was “part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement (NRA) following the company’s acknowledgment of improper payments to a sub-contractor and collusive misconduct to obtain and modify bid specifications to narrow competition and secure the award of the contract.

Oberthur voluntarily acknowledged the misconduct and promised to “carry out corrective action, including an internal investigation, while holding individuals connected with the misconduct accountable,” according to the World Bank statement.

Under the terms of the NRA, Oberthur will not be eligible for any World Bank-financed contracts for the length of the sanction.  

The banning of Oberthur also disqualifies it from also participating in other projects funded by several Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) party to the Agreement of Mutual Recognition of Debarments that was signed on April 9, 2010. 

Yann Delabrière the Idemia CEO. Idemia is the mother company of Oberthur, which is serving a 30 months ban from participating in World Bank funded projects over corruption.

The MDBs are: the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank Group and World Bank Group. The above MDBs are also members to the International Financial Institutions Anti-Corruption Task Force and the Uniform Framework for Preventing and Combating Fraud and Corruption.

Did Oberthur collude with BoU officials to print extra currency notes?

This discovery now raises serious reputation issues with the French firm, especially amidst, a Uganda Police statement, that police is now looking into allegations that there was unauthorised printing of currency notes.

The statement by Uganda Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, sharply contrasts that made by the government spokesperson and Executive Director of the government’s Uganda Media Centre, Ofwono Opondo on June 14th 2019. Although Opondo confirmed there was a currency related investigation going on, he refuted media reports from an anonymous whistle-blower that UGX90 billion had been ordered, printed and imported into the country via the now infamous ‘money plane,’ and diverted by Bank of Uganda officials.

Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU)

In a media interview yesterday, June 17th 2019 with Daily Monitor,  Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) also denied there was any money missing, only for Enanga to drop a bombshell- minutes later at a press conference. 

Enanga, told media that the case regarding what he called “irregularities surrounding a consignment of monies that were printed and the related supply chain” will now be “effectively supervised by the Director of Criminal investigations, i.e. AIGP Akullo Grace” who is “proceeding with lines of questioning on how the banking process supported the printing of the bank notes, whether there was any wrong doing on the part of the bank or not.”

He did not say why, Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema who was the initial lead person on the case has been removed from supervising the case.

Enanga said that several statements have been taken from “directors, managers and employees, with knowledge on the whole documentation process” with a view to “knowing how the need for the printing of the notes arose, who initiated the request, whether there was approval from the board, the amounts involved, serial numbers of the notes that were printed and how the none official but genuine notes could have arose.”

He hwoever did not mention much about the said “none-official but genuine notes.”

Some of the BoU officials from whom statements have been taken, according to Enanga, include the director for banking, director legal and auditors. Also additional statements were taken from ENHAS, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) customs officials and that “further arrangements to get statements from lawyers of UN and the business persons mentioned in the story” were ongoing.

Uganda Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga

Daily Monitor, a leading independent daily has now reported that that a police raid on the home of six senior officials of Bank of Uganda has “recovered documents which suggest printing of unauthorised notes.”

Mixed statements from government agencies: who is fooling who?

Since the scandal broke, there has been multiple statements from several arms of government involved in the scandal- either as suspects or investigators.

Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema’s State House Anti-Corruption Unit which made the first statement called it a “special investigation on a matter pertaining to the Bank’s procurement and supply chain activities” while a statement by Bank of Uganda Governor, issued hours after Nakalema’s called it “an anomaly in the inventory of the expected consignment.”

A few hours later, Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson, was on record saying there was no money missing as alleged by the initial whistle-blower, but rather, there as a case of unauthorised cargo on the supposed-to-be exclusive chartered currency plane.

The next day, Uganda Revenue Authority which had been severally mentioned in previous statements, issued a sharply worded statement of their own, saying that: “It is not the responsibility of URA customs to concern itself in logistical arrangements of importers or exporters” and urged Bank of Uganda not to drag URA into logistical contractual failures or mistakes of BOU and their service provider.”

Meanwhile, it was reported today on NBSTV that Bank of Uganda has rejected an apology from the owners of the plane that suspiciously carried unidentified cargo on a chartered flight by the Central Bank pending investigations into what went wrong.

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World Bank’s IFC considering USD70 million loan to Umeme

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) the largest global development institution and a member of the World Bank Group, has reported, they are considering lending up to USD 70 million (UGX263.2 billion) to Umeme Limited.

Umeme workers carry out new installations. To date, Umeme has invested $627m (UGX2.4 trillion), but plans to invest USD450 million in capex over the next 6 years and up to USD1.5 billion in 10 years so as to create a robust enough distribution network to last the country for another 20 years. The planned IFC USD70 million is therefore a major boost.

Umeme is Uganda’s largest power distributor.

In a disclosure posted on their website, IFC said they plan to raise a senior loan for up to USD 30 million from IFC’s own account, and up to USD40 million to be mobilized from other lenders- altogether USD 70 million.

IFC said in the disclosure that the debt financing will be used to support “Umeme’s next 6-year (2019-2024) capital expenditure program, which will mainly focus on: network upgrades to enable load growth and additional connections to support uptake of new generation, safety/reliability enhancements, and implementation of smart meters to continue improving collections and reducing commercial losses.”

“The Project will support the growing demand for electricity in Uganda, and contribute to ongoing efforts to increase access to electricity. This will help fulfil the Government of Uganda’s efforts to improve electrification rate from the current 27% to 60% by 2027, and complement the significant growth (almost double) in generation capacity expected by 2020 (from 183MW Isimba and 600MW Karuma dams, and small solar/hydros),” said IFC in their disclosure.

“In addition, the Project has potentially significant indirect and induced effects on value added and employment as Umeme’s network expansion plan focuses on zones with high electricity demand and economic growth potential. Finally, it will improve resilience of the main distribution network in Uganda and reduce losses, through adoption of advanced smart technologies, adequate maintenance and upgrade of ageing assets,” added IFC.

IFC further said that by availing more affordable commercial and institutional financing, which is not readily available in the Ugandan market, Umeme will be enabled to “increase the average maturity of its loans and free up cash flow for Capex.”

President Museveni launches commercial operations of the Soroti Fruit Factory, on the outskirts of Soroti town recently. Uganda had reinvigorated her industrialisation strategy and is relying on reliable and stable power from Umeme and other distributors to power this drive. According to IFC, the USD70 million loan to Umeme will support the growing demand for electricity in Uganda, and contribute to ongoing efforts to increase access to electricity and directly and indirect induce jobs and economic growth.

“IFC’s involvement and proposed structure will also provide comfort to existing commercial lenders to potentially increase their commitment to Umeme,” said IFC.

This disclosure, coming at the same time as government’s confirmation last week that it will renew Umeme’s 20-year concession comes in handy and is a growing show of confidence in the power distributor.  

The financing, if approved will bring, the total amount of lending to Umeme by IFC to USD185 million over the last 10 years. Umeme, which has previously been hailed by the World Bank as “by far the most successful Public Private Partnership “in the previous past has attracted up to USD 265 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Standard Chartered Bank, and Stanbic. 

In a recent interview with CEO East Africa, Patrick Bitature the Umeme board chairman, said Umeme will need to invest up to USD450 million in capital expenditure (CAPEX) alone. He however added that to create a robust enough distribution network to last the country for over 20 years, Umeme will need to invest between USD1 billion and USD1.5 billion over the next  five to ten years.

To date, Umeme has invested $627m (UGX2.4 trillion) into doubling the distribution network to over 34,000km from the 16,000km it inherited and grown customer connections by more than 4 times- from the 290,000 inherited to 1,291,811 by end of 2018.

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BoU Currency Scandal- URA tells BOU: “Don’t drag us into your mess”

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Amidst the raging scandal in which the Statehouse anti-corruption unit is investigating how illegitimate cargo, found itself on a chartered plane carrying new BoU banknotes, the Ugadna Revenue Authority (URA) whose customs officials cleared the cargo have said they did nothing wrong and instead asked BoU to own up their mess.

Full statement by Dickson Kateshumbwa, the URA Commissioner Customs, in verbatim:

In April this year, URA Entebbe Customs was informed by BOU of an impending import of Currency and requested to facilitate quick clearance. A private chartered plane arrived and as normal practice for sensitive cargo Customs facilitated clearance of the currency at the tarmac in presence of BOU Officials, BOU Security, Aviation Security, Police and other security agencies.

The consignment was offloaded, inspected and loaded on BOU vehicles and taken to Kampala under heavy security escort.

The same plane contained other cargo which belonged to various individuals / companies / organizations. As per normal customs clearance procedure, this cargo was offloaded into the licensed bonds at the airport and subsequently the owners made customs declarations, paid applicable taxes and Customs physically verified each consignment to ascertain accuracy and consistency with the declaration and released the goods to the owners.

Each consignment had its individual airway bill. Customs was not party to the airline charter arrangements between BOU, the airline and the other owners of the goods. It is not the responsibility of Customs to concern itself in logistical arrangements of importers or exporters. Our duty is to ensure that imported cargo through the airport is received and tallied with the cargo manifest, verified and is cleared in line with the Customs Laws as established under the East African Customs Management Act (EACCMA).

In this particular consignment like all others, our Customs staff followed the procedures to the dot and we can account for the cargo cleared fully. URA has provided the details of the information required by the investigators and we are available to offer any clarification if required.  

URA should not be dragged into logistical contractual failures or mistakes of BOU and their service provider.

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