Johannesburg - Insurer Sanlam [JSE:SLM] reported a 30% rise
in first-half earnings on Thursday, and said it would pay $265m for a stake in
the financial services arm of its Indian partner, Shriram Group.
South Africa's second-largest insurer and one of the
country's largest fund managers said diluted headline earnings per share
totalled 109.6 cents in the six months to end-June, compared with 84.1c a year
Sanlam said it was helped by an 11% increase in new business
volumes, particularly life insurance, and a rise in net fund inflows to its
asset management unit.
Sanlam, which already had stakes in Shriram Group's
insurance businesses, said it would pay 1.9bn in cash for a 26% stake in unit
Shriram Capital, to gain more exposure to India's financial services industry.
Shriram Capital's activities include commercial and retail
financing, stockbroking and the distribution of wealth products, Sanlam said.
It said it was also investigating a number of opportunities
for expansion into Africa, with Mozambique likely to be added in 2011.
Sanlam shares have fallen more than 3% so far this year,
compared with a 5% decline in South Africa's Top 40 - (Tradeable) [JSE:J200]