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Fitch revises ARC Limited’s Outlook to Positive; affirms IFS Rating at ‘BBB+’

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Fitch Ratings has revised African Risk Capacity (ARC) Limited’s Outlook to Positive from Stable and has also affirmed its Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating at ‘BBB+’ and Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘BBB’.

Announcing the news, the credit rating agency commented that this Outlook revision reflects ARC Limited’s “strong progress in meeting its development objectives, which if sustained, could support a stronger company profile assessment within the next two years”.

It added: “In Fitch’s view, the improvement in ARC’s premium base, risk pool and claim pay-outs enhances the company’s geographic diversification, franchise and operating scale. In addition, the improved reach of the company’s development activities is likely to further increase its importance to sponsors.”

Says Lesley Ndlovu, ARC Limited CEO: “We are delighted with this revision of our Outlook to Positive which reflects the work we have done to raise our company profile and improve portfolio diversification.

“We are confident that the support from our sponsors will only grow as we expand ARC Limited’s impact on the African continent in terms of our development activities and the number of parametric insurance pay-outs we have been making in 2022 to respond to cyclones and droughts.”

In addition to its strong growth in gross written premiums (GWP) in 2021, ARC Limited’s support from and oversight by the German development bank KfW through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) were cited as reasons for the revision.  

ARC Limited’s key strength, adds Fitch, is its capital position. “We regard the returnable capital provided by KfW/BMZ and the FCDO of USD70 million at end-2021 as fully loss-absorbing, and consequently treat it as equity capital when assessing capitalisation and leverage. On this basis, ARC scored ‘Extremely Strong’ on Fitch’s Prism Factor-Based Capital Model based on end-2021 figures, unchanged from 2020. Fitch expects that further capital support could be made available as ARC continues to achieve its development goals.

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ARC’s regulatory capitalisation is strong, with a Bermuda enhanced capital requirement ratio of 796% at end-2021 (2020: 1,628%),” it said.

“While our product portfolio is concentrated, dominated mainly by drought insurance, we are actively diversifying this. To that end, we introduced tropical cyclone cover in 2020 and are also expanding our offering to cover outbreak and epidemic, and flooding risks. In addition, we are expanding our insurance offering to non-sovereign entities and working to increase the number of African countries covered in our risk pool. Which we believe will help to elevate our standing in future Fitch ratings,” Ndlovu concludes.

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Egypt’s BONBELL seeks $10 million seed funding after closing $350,000 initial round

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Egypt’s startup BONBELL, the first mobile App in the Food-tech industry specialized in food ordering, digital solutions for table and meal reservations, has closed an initial funding round for $350,000. This is through a Canadian Angel investor, to help further develop the App services and achieve a level of growth in regard to user count and daily orders.

BONBELL launched its own App in early 2022, to offer a wide range of food ordering services in Egypt. The App offers many food ordering solutions, from food delivery to restaurant’s reservations and Dine-in ordering through a QR Code on the tables, as well as take away services. The App offers various payment solutions through cash or credit cards.

BONBELL has partnered with many restaurants and cafes, as well as clubs like Heliopolis Club and Smash Club. It also offers its services in Malls and Cinemas, to offer a smoother food ordering experience, reserving tables and food delivery, for mall and cinema goers. It has also strategically partnered with many leading major companies and institutions. Most notably the German University in Cairo (GUC), and Raya Telecom, in order to offer its services in their respective headquarters for employees and visitors alike.

The Food-Tech startup targets raising its partnered restaurants to 750 by the end of 2022. The company is also negotiating with two venture capital funds from Europe and the Gulf, to close a $10 million fund in its seed round by the end of the year.

Doaa Abdel-Hameed, the Chief Business Officer of the company said: “we aim to help restaurants in offering an easier food ordering experience to their customers. Either through food delivery or reserving a table in the restaurant, as well as taking away orders and also the special orders made by customers in their restaurants.”

“We pursue a better experience for the Egyptian user in food ordering. We see a lot of potential and opportunities to do that through developing the App constantly based on the user reviews. And adding more restaurants in all of the Egyptian governorates.” She added.

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BONBELL has earned the trust of more than 12,000 customers, who used the app in food ordering in all the ways offered through the App, in just 6 month.

Doaa Abdel-Hameed emphasized that the success of BONBELL App, in offering the best experience to its users can only be done through strategic partnerships with many more restaurants. In addition to the constant development of the technology used in the App, as well as relying on offering inventive solutions to the Egyptian user such as (Robotic Stations) service. 

This service will offer customers the experience of food ordering and serving through a Robot, without any human intervention. It is expected to launch in Egypt at the end of 2023.

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GrubTech partners Geidea to provide cutting-edge e-payment solutions for restaurants and cloud kitchens in Egypt

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GrubTech, UAE’s leading cloud kitchens and restaurants tech solutions provider, signed an agreement with Geidea, a leading e-payments and fintech platform, to provide its services for the BOSs of GrubTech’s clients. This cooperation will avail an added value and new merits for GrubTech’s clients in the Egyptian market. GrunTech’s Egypt Country Manager Osama Harfoush, and Head of Commercials at Geidea Ahmed Magdy signed the agreement in the presence of GrubTech’s Founder and CEO Mohamed Al Fayed and the General Manager of Geidea in Egypt Ahmed Nader.

Founded in 2019, GrubTech is a platform that provides tech solutions to manage cloud kitchens and restaurants in a way that enables them automating their businesses and managing food delivery process online. The leading cloud kitchens and restaurants tech solutions provider also provides sales and marketing solutions as well as in-depth analyses of restaurants data that contributes to accelerating their work and reducing their costs as well.

For Geidea, it is currently the favorable choice for merchants in the Egyptian market who seek to count on the fastest and easiest e-payment solutions. Geidea provides a unique and integrated services that qualified it to acquire a large market share of the e-payments in Egypt.  

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Commenting on the signing, CEO and Founder of GrubTech Mohamed Al Fayed said that this agreement is a part of the company’s strategy that aims at expanding in establishing grand commercial partnerships with the major key players in food and beverages (F&B) market in MENA region.

“This cooperation will come into effect in Egypt, originally, and then it is planned to cover other countries that GrubTech operates in, including in MENA; Asia and Africa”, Al Fayed added.

Egypt’s Country Manager of GrubTech expressed his excitement of inking the agreement, asserting that it represents a significant step in terms of GrubTech’s plan to build a system that integrates with its objectives to create a platform that contains all solutions the restaurants and cafes in the local market need.

“Tech solutions GrubTech provides benefit its clients in easing selling and purchasing transactions, tapping digital transformation policy all institutions across the world adopted recently towards sustainable development goals achievement by 2030”, said Harfoush.

On his side, General Manager of Geidea in Egypt Ahmed Nader said that he is pleased about this cooperation with GrubTech as one of the leading tech solutions providers as well as a cloud kitchens and restaurants management system designer.

“This agreement is an imperative action for Geidea in order to expand in F&B market that is growing rabidly in Egypt. It will enable cafes and restaurants owners to work more efficiently, while providing a better experience in terms of online food delivery. It will also help the business owners increasing sales through utilizing multifarious trademarks via a single window in an easy way”, Nader stated.

Head of Commercials at Geidea, Ahmed Magdy said that the company’s vision is providing all merchants and business owners with innovative payment solutions that help growing their businesses and facilitating their management.

“Through collaborating with GrubTech, we target expanding our operations in F&B sector by introducing cutting-edge e-payment solutions. Cloud kitchens and restaurants sector is notably growing in Egypt with accelerating digital transformation, which gives us a significant opportunity to provide an all-in-one operating system that eases the process for our clients”, according to Magdy.

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Mouka Parent Company, Dolidol International Group, Appoints Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as New Vice Chairman

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Mouka, the market leader in Nigeria’s sleep industry and a new member of the Dolidol International group, has appointed Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as its new Vice Chairman. The Board of Mouka’s parent company, Dolidol, has given their vote of confidence to the new Vice Chairman, who has an impressive resume of sterling accomplishments.

According to the Managing Director of Mouka, Mr Femi Fapohunda, the new Vice Chairman’s expertise is in finance, corporate governance and law. As a Non-Executive Board Member, his input and guidance to decision-making by Mouka’s Executive Directors would help propel Mouka to even greater heights. Dr Adesegun is the Founder and Managing Partner of Luwaji Nominees, a legal and corporate advisory services firm and currently serves as Of Counsel at Clifford Chance (CC Worldwide Limited) and International Counsel at ÆLEX.

A graduate of King’s College London (LL. B (Hons) 1983, LL.M 1985) and Harvard Law School (LL.M ’88 and SJD ’91), in addition to being the Overall Best Student at the Nigerian Law School in 1984. He has served for over 30 years in the legal profession and financial services sector; having worked at both the technical and executive management level, in the public and private sector, for leading commercial law firms, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.

He was previously General Counsel and Senior Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB) (2000 -2007) and the first Chief Legal Officer and Head of the Legal Services Department of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (1993 – 1997). In December 2018, he retired as Executive Director (Chief Operating Officer), General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

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Adesegun A. Akin-Olugbade has significant Board level experience. He was a non-Executive Director and former Chairman of the Governance Committee of Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI). He was also a Founding Director and Managing Partner of AFC’s wholly owned subsidiary, AFC Equity Investments Limited, Mauritius. He was a founding shareholder and former non-Executive Director of Asset & Resources Management (ARM) Company, a leading financial services company in Nigeria. He is a life member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and Trustee of the African Refugee Foundation (AREF) and of the Nigerian Law School Class of 1984. 

In 2003, he was invited to be a member of the Committee on International Monetary Law of the International Law Association (MOCOMILA) and joined the World Trade Board as the first African member in 2019.

Adesegun A. Akin-Olugbade is an alumnus of several Executive Management Programs including the Wharton CEO Academy, the IMD Executive Management Program and the HEC (Montreal) Management Development Program (MDP). He is an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), a national honour conferred on him by the Nigerian Government in September 2012.

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