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Insurance industry competition has tightened – BIC

Botswana Insurance Company managing director, Johann Claasen

Competition in the insurance market has tightened in the last five years, observes Botswana Insurance Company managing director, Johann Claasen.

“If you take a step back five years, there were a handful of players in the insurance market in Botswana, but that number has almost doubled,” Claasen told BusinessPost in an interview.

“So with increased competition, obviously the market becomes a little bit more difficult and more competitive. But over and above that, your broker community has also increased quite significantly and the biggest proportion of business in short term insurance is generated from brokers so this means competition has grown and that puts pressure on rates.”

“Now you have bigger competition as far as the insurer market is concerned and you have bigger competition as far as brokers are concerned; but the pie has not really grown.

The latest data found in the NBFiRA (Non Bank Financial Regulatory Authority) Annual Report of 2014, shows that market only grew but 2,3 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The largest and oldest short term insurance company in the country, Botswana Insurance Company (BIC), had a presence the Botswana Resource Sector Conference held on the 9th and 10th of June, 2015, at Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC).

The Conference, which was meant to bring together stakeholders in the minerals sector to discuss issues pertaining to the sector, gave BIC an opportunity to expand its networks and unearth more opportunities for the insurer.

BIC managing director, Johann Claasen, told this publication that: “BIC is the oldest short term insurer and also the biggest, with 23 percent market share, with about 11 players in the market.”

“As BIC, a Conference like that allows us to familiarise ourselves with the resource sector trends, an opportunity to realise the opportunities that are out there, and it is also a very nice network tool.”

We get in you to get to know and network with the different players in the resource sector, and of course it helps us to build our brand and make sure that we are associated with mining.”

 “It gives us the opportunity to do some research, identity the gaps and learn about their requirements and what their future development plans are,” said Claasen.

“It is better to know what the industry needs then to have a product out there and hope that they take it up,” adding that “it allows us to align our own growth that industry, so in a nutshell, it’s about alignment.”
“Based on current statistics, it shows that the market has not grown, so one needs to be clever to stay in business,”

“Due to the length of time in the market we have been in business, we basically cover the entire segment of the mining industry, be it exploration, drilling, contractors, sub contractors, and we have the products to support.”

Claasen also said that the new insurance Act which is in draft stage, will protect the consumer and ensure that clients are serviced by insurers that have sufficient capital to pay out claims, something that, might put a bit of pressure on the smaller players in the, market.

“The new insurance act will put a lot more pressure on capital adequacy and have more risk based models and have adequate capital.”

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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