JOHANNESBURG, April 23 South Africa's biggest
insurer Sanlam said on Wednesday it would acquire a
majority stake in Malaysia's MCIS Zurich Insurance Berhad for
about 1.25 billion rand ($119 million), further expanding its
footprint in the southeast Asian nation.
Sanlam said it would initially buy a 40 percent from a major
shareholder, Koperasi MCIS Berhad, and another 11 percent
through an offer to minority shareholders.
After the purchase, MCIS Zurich will have to dispose of its
short-term insurance business as Malaysian regulations do not
allow an investor to operate more than one life or general
Sanlam already has a short-term insurance business in
Malaysia after acquiring a 49 percent share in Pacific & Orient
Insurance Co. in 2013.
Sanlam, which also has operations in India and 15 African
countries, has a war chest of more than $370 million for
acquisitions in emerging markets this year.
($1 = 10.5448 South African Rand)
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by David Dolan)