* Full-year earnings rise 10 pct
* Dividend up 12 pct
* Shares gain over 1 pct
(Adds details, CEO comments)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 11 South African financial
services group MMI Holdings said on Wednesday it had
set aside 1 billion rand ($100 million) for African acquisitions
and to strengthen its short-term insurance business in its home
South Africa's third-largest life insurer by market value
also posted a 10 percent rise in diluted core headline earnings
per share to 202 cents in the year to end-June. Headline
earnings exclude some one-time items.
MMI said it had purchased 70 percent of insurer Mauritian
Eagle as part of a plan to spend a total of 500 million rand
($50 million) on acquisitions in 12 countries outside South
Africa where MMI operates.
Talks for another purchase were on-going, Chief Executive
Nicolaas Kruger told Reuters.
"I'm pretty sure in the next year we will be able to acquire
something but at this stage nothing is at a point where we are
in a position to make an announcement," he said.
The company, which sells insurance, savings and investment
products, said it had another 500 million rand to expand its
short-term insurance business organically.
MMI, created in 2010 through the merger of Momentum and
Metropolitan Holdings, said it wrote new business valued at 711
million rand, 19 percent higher than the previous year.
It also increased its dividend by 12 percent.
MMI shares were up 2.4 percent at 0845GMT, have gained more
than 4 percent this year, underperforming a 10 percent rise by
Johannesburg's All-share index.
($1 = 9.9784 South African rand)
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by David Dolan)