India has grown to become Kenya Re’s second largest source of business contributing 32 percent of its gross premiums behind Kenya’s 38 percent in the year ended December, according to South African rating firm Global Credit Rating (GCR).
Kenya Re has traditionally depended on the Kenyan market –from which it gets a mandatory 20 percent premiums from primary underwriters— which made up half of the company’s business over the years.
The company has however diversified into small presences in multiple markets, growing its potential for premium diversification with India leading in market growth to rival the Kenyan business.
“We continue to view the group’s business profile to be slightly positive, underpinned by moderately high geographic diversification of its gross premiums,” GCR said.
“In this regard, about 38 percent of the group’s premiums are ceded from Kenya, 32 percent from India, and the rest from more than 80 countries.”
For a long time, the Kenyan business has been contributing nearly 49 percent of gross premiums, 20 percent from India with the balance being comprised of small presences in multiple markets.
Kenya Re which posted Sh832 million net profit in the half year to June, up from Sh533.7 million the year before, collected premiums worth Sh11 billion in the six-month period.
The company has three fully owned subsidiaries including Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Côte d`Ivoire, Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Zambia, and Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Uganda limited and associate company Zep-Re.
The reinsurer has invested millions of shillings in setting up and expanding regional subsidiaries to diversify its portfolio.
However, Kenya Re’s domestic market position is regarded as moderately strong, reinforced by mandatory cession.
GCR however noted a contraction in its market share in the local market on account of stiff competition mainly due to price wars in the market, increased retention capacity among cedants and reduced participation in some accounts.
“In this respect, while one percent growth was registered by Kenya Re on domestic cessions in the review year, total industry cessions (both life and non-life) grew by 19 percent resulting in the entity’s reduction in the market share to 14.2 percent (2020: 16.7 percent, 2019: 17.4 percent),” GCR said.
Other reinsurers operating in Kenya include Ghana Re, Zep-Re, East Africa Re, and Continental Re.
Kenya Re remains well diversified and has continued to grow subsidiaries with cessions from their respective primary markets ranked among the top ten contributors to the group’s total premiums.
GCR gave the company a stable outlook reflecting expectations that the credit profile will remain very strong, supported by strong risk-adjusted capitalisation and liquidity.