Barclays Africa Enters Kenya Life Insurance Market

Barclays Africa Enters Kenya Life Insurance Market

From StandardDigital. Story by Abigael Sum.

Barclays Africa Group Ltd. is eyeing the lucrative but highly under-served insurance business.

The lender Thursday announced it had partnered with businessmen Darshan Chandaria of Chandaria Industries and Mr Ayisi Makatiani of Fanisi Capital to enter the Kenyan life insurance market.

The unit known as Barclays Life Assurance Kenya is majority owned (66.6 percent) by Barclays Africa Group. Kenya is the fifth market in which Barclays Africa has set up life insurance business. Other markets include South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

In 2014, Kenyan insurance premiums were valued at 162 billion Kenyan shillings ($1.71 billion US), the equivalent of 3.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The Kenyan insurance sector is beginning to register accelerated growth and the country was ranked the third fastest growing life insurance market in the world in 2014. This is being driven by a growing middle class, increased consumer awareness and the launch of innovative products.

“The life insurance market in Kenya is registering 20 percent year-on-year growth, but our sector still represents a tiny fraction of the country’s rapidly expanding economy,” said William Maara, Managing Director of Barclays Life Assurance Kenya.

(Formerly Absa Group Ltd, Barclays is one of Africa’s major financial services providers, offering personal and business banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management as well as insurance. ABSA stands for “Amalgamated Banks of South Africa”).

Read more at StandardDigital.