Britam Holdings sank into a half-year loss, hit by depreciating share values at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
The multinational company saw the value of its shares at the NSE reduced to Sh3.2 billion in the first half of the year from January to June, vis a vis a gain of Sh2.5 billion in a similar period I 2019.
This effectively erased the gains from the rise in revenue from insurance, which rose 8.5 percent to Sh14 billion, and led to a Sh1.6 billion loss from a Sh1.6 billion net profit a year earlier.
Benson Wairegi, Britam managing director attributed the dip in revenue to the plummeting in shares at the NSE in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic that has significantly impacted negatively business environment and investor confidence.
The shares value at the Nairobi bourse fell to Sh435 billion in the six months to June following widespread sell-off, notably by foreign investors, in the wake of Coronavirus.
“This reflects the significant adverse impact of Covid-19 on the operating environment, particularly on the equities and property investments, the group’s fundamentals remain strong and we are on track in the execution of our strategy and coupled with an improved operating environment the group’s performance outlook is positive” said Mr. Wairegi.
Insurance is seen as a fragile area in Kenya due to income distribution, high unemployment, stagnation of growth in private sector, where less than 10 percent of the population has any form of cover.
Two years ago, the infamous four ex-Britam mangers Edwin Dande, Elizabeth Nailantei Nkukuu, Patricia Njeri Wanjama and Shiv Arora put the insurer in spotlight over legal prosecution on alleged irregular transfer of sums from Britam-affiliated accounts to rival companies. The four were in 2016 charged with the criminal offence relating to theft by servants for the sum of Sh1.1 billion, which they contested in the High Court.