FBN Holdings to Divest from Insurance Business, Market Gains Further


Goddy Egene

FBN Holdings Plc is to divest its 65 per cent equity in FBN Insurance Limited to Salam (PTY) Limited, which currently holds 35 per cent stake in the insurance firm.

In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), it explained that the proposed sale was in line with FBN Holdings’ “strategic objectives.”

According to the notification, the group is currently engaging the regulators for the necessary approvals. FBN Holdings, however, assured the exchange and other stakeholders in the market further announcement will be made if the transaction is concluded.

The insurance business contributed 9.8 per cent to the gross earnings of FBN Holdings in 2019, up from 4.2 per cent in 2018 and 9.8 per cent to profit before tax (PBT) in 2019, compared with 9.6 per cent in 2018.

The insurance business recorded gross premium written of N44.9 billion in 2019, up by 46.8 per cent as against N30.6 billion. PBT rose to N8.8 billion, showing an increase of 23 per cent from N6.8 billion.

On its part, the FBN Holdings Group posted a PBT of N84 billion representing a growth of 31 per cent over 2018 PBT of N64billion. Profit After Taxation (PAT) at N74billion was a growth of 27 per cent over N58 billion reported for 2018. The company’s board of directors recommended the payment of the sum of N13.64 billion, which translates into to 38 kobo per share, which is a growth of 46 per cent over prior year dividend.

According to the company, the proposed divestment will unlock significant value to leverage the Group’s strength in its core business for which it is renowned.

Meanwhile, the stock market continued with its positive performance as the NSE All-Share Index (ASI) rose further, gaining 3.02 per cent to close at 22,539.94. Similarly, market capitalisation added N330 billion to be at N11.7 trillion. Gains recorded by Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc contributed to the bullish trend yesterday. Activity level was mixed as value traded advanced 26.9 per cent to N3.3 billion while volume traded declined 41.4 per cent to 326.4 million shares. The most active stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (74.8 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (72.1 million shares) and GTBank (36.8 million shares). In terms of value, Zenith Bank Plc led with N1.1 billion, followed by GTBank (N794 million) and FBN Holdings Plc (N354.2 million). In all, 28 stocks appreciated compared to 11 stocks that depreciated.