Govt plans to float shares of company
Rwanda National Insurance Corporation (Sonarwa) has partnered with the Industrial General Insurance, a Nigerian insurance company positioning Sonarwa to remain the leading insurance company in the country and become competitive in the region.
“The partnership is a stated goal of expanding in the continent and bringing our expertise to affect the people’s lives. It is an opportunity for IGI to contribute to the economic progress of Rwanda,” Remi Olowude, the Executive Vice Chairman of IGI said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
The partnership has also increased the company’s capital to Frw3.5 billion and the total assets base to Frw14 billion making it the biggest and most capitalised insurance company in the country.
Corneille Karekezi, Chief Executive Officer Sonarwa said, “IGI being the leading Nigerian insurer, access to its subsidiaries and associated network of companies will create synergies that will turn Sonarwa into a faster growing and more profitable insurance company.”
IGI acquired a 35 per cent stake after paying Frw6 billion for 17,500 shares making it the majority single shareholder. The coming in of IGI dictated that the shareholding structure of Sonarwa had to change.
Government which had a 10 per cent stake has remained with only 6 per cent. Parastatals now have 16 per cent. IGI has 35 per cent while other private companies have 43 per cent shareholding.
With IGI now having controlling stake in Sonarwa, it is set to nominate three directors of the board and appoint new management to run the company’s daily operations.
“Sonarwa will streamline its systems and procedures, develop existing capacity, expand its line of product and service and increase its flexibility and capacity,” Karekezi said.
Olowude, said the determined, focused and disciplined economic transformation under the visionary leadership of President Paul Kagame enticed them invest in Sonarwa.
IGI has majority shares with in the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) limited of Uganda, Network Insurance Company Limited and Network Life Assurance Company Limited in Ghana and Gamstar Insurance Company Limited of Gambia.
The stake in Sonarwa, is IGI’s third investment in East Africa after the 60 percent stake in NIC and the newly acquired banking license for Global Trust Bank Limited in Uganda.
The government of Rwanda has identified Sonarwa as one of the companies in which it has shares to be floated on the bourse.
James Musoni, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning recently said that Sonarwa is very ready and waiting for the Capital Market Advisory Council’s decision (for shares to be floated).
Céléstine Ntwali, the Operations Manager of Rwanda Capital Markets Advisory Councils said they expect Sonarwa’s initial public offer in two months time.
This will give the opportunity to Rwandan and other East African residents to own shares in Rwanda’s leading insurance company.