Nico General Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed financial services group Nico Holdings Limited, has touted 2014 as a good year for business and plans to grow its market share next year to 45 percent from 33 percent.
The insurance firm, according to its chief executive officer Eric Chapola, said in the year, business has grown by 20 percent and that their bottom-line profit will be five times more than what they achieved last year.
“We have results for 10 months, it has been a good year for us businesswise. In terms of prospects for next year, we will follow the prospects of the economy. We can see green light at the end of the tunnel. We are hopeful that in 2015 our business will grow more,” he said on Friday in Blantyre on the sidelines of brokers’ dinner and dance.
Chapola hailed their brokers for the business they did with the company, adding that 82 percent of their business comes from brokers.
He also revealed plans to spread their tentacles beyond the borders, saying there is growing demand for their services in neighbouring countries.
Chapola commended Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) for being a good regulator and that the directives it issued in the year were in line with the powers of Insurance Act.
“We are happy with the way the regulator is regulating our business,” said Chapola.
In early November, the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a statement alleging that the insurance industry is involved in price fixing.
In the statement, CFTC said they determined that the insurance industry is engaged in “setting and recommending premium rates to its members contrary to Section 34 (1) of the Competition and Fair Trading Act”.
“The commission, therefore, decided that the Insurance Association of Malawi had committed an offence and was liable to prosecution for imposition of a fine of K500 000 or an amount equivalent to the financial benefit generated by the offence and to five years imprisonment as provided for in Section 51 of the Competition and Fair Trading Act,” said the statement.
CFTC, however, said it decided to exercise leniency on the association and resolved not to commit it to the court of law for imposition of sanctions.
But Chapola said it is unfortunate that CFTC thinks the insurance industry is doing their business not in line with competition laws.
“I would rather they understand what we do for them to understand our business. I think they don’t understand. They are making decisions that they are not aware of,” he said.
A representative of the brokers, Henry Sisya from Kingfisher Insurance Brokers, thanked Nico General for “being a listening business partner” and expressed hope that their working relationship will continue in the years to come.