Morocco’s Saham To Acquire Majority of Bank Audi’s Insurance Company
Published Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:32 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Bank Audi has reached an agreement to sell most of its stake in LIA Insurance company to a major Moroccan financial company, a statement by the bank said Tuesday.
According to the bank, Saham Finances Company, leader of the African insurance market (excluding South Africa), will acquire 81 percent of LIA Insurance.
It added that completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.
“The parties have agreed to maintain and develop the existing cooperation between Bank Audi sal-Audi Saradar Group and LIA Insurance sal, in the field of bancassurance,” the bank added.
It is still not clear how much the deal is worth or why Audi had to sell its insurance arm to an Arab company.
This is the first major acquisition of a Lebanese insurance company by a foreign firm in many years.
Despite the steady growth of Lebanese insurance, the sector is still far behind many countries in the world in terms of insurance premiums.
The statement said that LIA Insurance is one of the leading insurance companies in Lebanon. It added that Saham Finances intends to rely on the skills of the management team of LIA Insurance, which will remain in place.
Saham Finances is currently present in 15 African countries (including Morocco) through its ownership of 20 insurance companies; one reinsurance company and two support companies.
Saham Finances recently admitted into its shareholding the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) and ABRAAJ Capital, and intends to use Lebanon as its main hub to support its expansion strategy in the Middle East, The Daily Star reported.