South Africa's MMI to buy stake in Kenyan insurer for $27 mln

JOHANNESBURG Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:10am EST

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JOHANNESBURG Feb 24 (Reuters) - South African financial services group MMI Holdings said on Monday it will buy a majority stake in Kenyan insurer Cannon Assurance for $27 million, to increase its presence in east Africa's top economy.

The 300 million rand ($27.4 million) deal gives South Africa's third-largest life insurer access to Cannon's short-term insurance and asset management products.

MMI Holdings operates in 12 countries outside of South Africa including Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria. It already has a presence in Kenya through its Metropolitan Kenya unit.

South African companies are increasingly looking to buy up firms on the fast-growing continent to offset slower expansion at home.

Shares of MMI fell 0.6 percent to 22.56 rand at 1255GMT. ($1 = 10.9455 South African rand) (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; editing by David Dolan)