By Hilary Mare
FINANCE Minister Calle Schlettwein has urged Hollard Insurance Company of Namibia to invest locally, as Namibia remains one of the most lucrative investment destinations in the insurance sector.
Hollard Namibia – which comprises two licensed companies, Hollard Insurance Company of Namibia since 2003, and Hollard Life Namibia since 2008, as part of the Hollard International profile, operating in 18 countries across four continents – celebrated 15 years of existence in Namibia last week.
At the launch, Schlettwein emphasised that owing to the prevailing peace and political stability in Namibia, Hollard was able to grow from a zero base to a company worth about N$1.2 billion, as reflected in the firm’s financials the previous financial year.
“The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, which Namibia is a signatory to, encourages inter-continental trade. With Return on Equity of about 20% in the overall insurance market; loss ratio of 55% in short-term insurance and loss ratio of 65% in long-term insurance, Namibia remains an attractive investment destination for insurance, in which you are most welcome to invest.
“In this connection, I wish to encourage you to invest even more in Namibia, considering the higher outflow of your earnings realised here in Namibia. This I believe will add to your accelerated growth as an industry and the Namibian economy as a whole,” Schlettwein said in a speech read on his behalf by Angelina Nangula, acting deputy PS in the Ministry of Finance.
Hollard Namibia employs about 170 people in permanent positions, of which all except three are Namibians.
“Hollard Namibia’s 15th Anniversary dawns a new era of commitment to service excellence and a high performance driven culture; designed to meet the ever-evolving needs of its diverse group of stakeholders through your branches in seven towns countrywide. I am thus, further pleased to note that Hollard Namibia makes a significant contribution to the Fiscus in taxes, levies, and other statutory payments, since the commencement of your operations in Namibia,” added Schlettwein.
The minister went on to note that besides ensuring a conducive environment for business to prosper, the government has a role to play in supporting the insurance industry to promote their own resilience and also that of the wider economy and its citizenry.
“This is done mainly from a regulatory perspective, which balances between the business imperative and national developmental goals. It is thus, important to mention about the current shifts in the reinsurance regulatory framework in various African countries – wherein the main thrusts of some of the new regulations are aimed to support local retention and control the flow of re-insurance premium.
“Therefore, the policy and regulatory objectives aimed at retaining higher premiums in-country and stem large capital outflow, is a continental agenda with the primary objective of ensuring that local economies are developed using local monies, as no country can sustainably depend on other countries’ resources for its own development,” he said.
As far as mitigating capital outflows are concerned, the domestic insurance sector has largely met the domestic asset requirements, as per Regulation 8 and 15, with an average of 69 percent of assets held domestically by short-term insurers and 59 percent for long-term insurers.
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