Provide strategic direction for GRC expansion into other markets-Finance Minister urges new board

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has urged the newly reconstituted board of the Ghana Reinsurance Company (GRC) to provide appropriate strategic direction to enable the company to expand into other markets in Africa.

“Given the high level of competition and GRCs limited presence in targeted markets and sole dependence on internally generated funds, there is the need for the company to embark on expansionary drive into targeted markets in Africa to grow its premium income,” he stated in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy, Dr John Kumah, during the inauguration of the reconstituted board of the GRC in Accra.

Chaired by Mr George Otoo, a Chartered Insurer, the seven-member board has other members as Mr George Y. Mensah, the Managing Director, Mrs Jennifer Owusu, a lawyer, Mr Franklin Hayford, Financial Services Expert, Mrs Lynda Odro, a Chartered Insurer, Mrs Stella Williams, the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Finance, and Dr Francis Sapara-Grant, an Economist.

Mr Ofori-Atta observed that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area offered an opportunity for the company to venture into new markets and come out with new products to increase the premium income of the company.

“As an international reinsurer, competing with regional insurers who operate under charters such as Africa Re, Zep Re and WAICA Re, Ghana Re has continued to make significant strides in the industry,” he said.

He urged the new board members to work hard to enhance operational excellence and shareholder value by increasing return on equity from the current 14.8 per cent to 20 per cent by 2024.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the new Insurance Act, 2021 (Act 1061), which sought to   strengthen the regulatory framework of insurance business in Ghana in compliance with the new Insurance Core Principles  introduced by the International Association Insurance Supervisors had been passed by Parliament.

He said the law was expected to position the insurance industry to meaningfully contribute to the agenda of strengthening the financial sector and deepening financial market, improve governance practices and increase the competitiveness of the insurance industry.

“It is therefore, incumbent on the Board together with the National Insurance Commission to ensure its implementation and enhance Ghana’s attractiveness as an insurance hub for the sub-region,” Mr  Ofori-Atta, said.

The Board Chairman, Mr Otoo said for the past four years (2017-2020) Ghana Re’s premium income had grown from GH¢193 million to GHc312 million, gross profit also grew from GH¢49 million in 2017 to GH¢56 million in December 2020 in the midst of COVID-19, and within the same period the company paid a dividend of GH¢37 million to the government, the sole shareholder of the company.

He said the company currently had a market share of 45 per cent and working very hard to increase it to about 55 per cent for General Business and maintain it at 80 per cent share for Life Business in the next three years.

Mr Otoo disclosed that Ghana Re had established a regional office in Cameroon to cater for the Central African zone and a full subsidiary in Kenya to serve the African market, and work currently in progress to open a third office in Casablanca, Morocco to serve the North African regional bloc.

BY: KINGSLEY ASARE

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