CIC Insurance Group, which seeks to increase its footprint in the Eastern and Central African region, announced its interest in expanding to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda.
The Chief Executive Officer of CIC Insurance, Tom Gitogo said the company was following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration’s efforts to free up Ethiopia’s financial sector that has for decades been under State control.
The Insurance company’s expansion plans would increase its countries of operation to seven, including Kenya. Currently, the insurer is present in Uganda, Malawi and South Sudan.
Gitogo said “we are considering Ethiopia but the financial services liberalisation in that country still has some way to go. We are monitoring keenly”.
The Ethiopian government currently has total control over sectors such as telecommunications, and prohibits foreign ownership of banking, insurance and financial services firms, effectively shutting out local and private investors. The Prime Minister has introduced incentives such as tax holidays and subsidised loans since taking over in April last year as part of efforts to loosen up the State’s grip on the economy.
CIC’s entry into Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda is expected to to boost the company’s profit margins, even as it recorded improved performance in the year ended December 2018. The firm’s net profit rose 31 percent to 625 million shillings.