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March 1999
Demutualisation with a difference

Old Mutual might have been anxious to announce plans for demutualisation first, but its careful preparations and strategy have meant it has ended up following in Sanlam’s footsteps in putting words into action. Together the two die-hard mutuals...

March 1999
Selective care

Peter Linley investment head for Old Mutual Unit Trusts says the local economic outlook for 1999 is poor. “However, interest rates should resume their fall if local currency remains stable and the balance of payments improves. It is our view that...

March 1999
Getting worse

Despite an increase of 14,8% in total gross premium income for the 1997 calendar year to R20 737m, short-term insurers faced lower profits. According to the latest figures from the Financial Services Board (FSB) net underwriting profit for the...

March 1999
Steady as you go

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s latest budget, presented 17th February 1999, might best be described as one of ‘gentle persuasion’. He laid down nothing radical: assuaged the lower paid by reducing their income tax rates; embraced the free...

March 1999
Big blue, blue white wash

According to Time Magazine, they’ve found out who caused the so-called ‘Millennium Bug’. It was started by ‘several scientists, including US Navy Officer Grace Murray Hopper who created the programming language called COBOL (Common Business-...

March 1999
Torpedoed by case

A recent ruling by Pension Funds Adjudicator, Professor John Murphy, could have significant implications for defined benefit retirement funds, as a number of typical benefits could be declared unfair in terms of the Bill of Rights.
According...

March 1999
Mine.’ ‘No, mine’..minefield

The issue of ownership of the surplus of a defined benefit pension fund is still unresolved. What’s more, it’s likely to remain so.
‘Surplus’ is defined as the value of the assets of the fund minus the value of the accrued liabilities for...

March 1999
Clearer purpose

The new Long-term Insurance Act has eliminated the last vestiges of in-equality between men and women who are married in community of property, notes Sanlam. Policies owned individually (excluding fund member policies such as retirement annuities...

March 1999
Stronger ties

Forbes Group says it has increased its investment in Guardrisk to 70%. Graeme Kerrigan, Forbes chief executive explained that the increased holding “was a logical move since we have a long and successful relationship with Guardrisk and believe in...

March 1999
Number of funds top 200

Sales for 1998 reached a record R63,9 billion, according to the Association of Unit Trusts (AUT). It says this amounts to “an exceptional compound growth rate of 6,8% per annum over the past five years.”
Sales for the fourth quarter were...

March 1999
Foreign presence

St. Paul Insurance Company South Africa opened a Cape Town office 1st February 1999 and says the new branch will offer the same insurance products and services as the Johannesburg office, working with insurance brokers in the Cape Town area....

March 1999
Burnt offering

A national and comprehensive investigation into the effectiveness of fire services is being funded and con- ducted by The South African Insurance Association (SAIA).
The short-term insurance industry has long been concerned about strong...

March 1999
Oops!

Flight Safety Foundation at a seminar in Cape Town has revealed that a major cause of accidents is pilots breaking the rules. “Descending below decision height or minimum descent altitude, lack of position awareness - low and slow flight - poor...

March 1999
At last…

A it turns out, the on-again, off-again courtship of Standard Bank and Liberty Life is eventually to end up in marriage. It was announced early February that, yet again, merger negotiations had resumed. Last year Liberty Life was blamed for...

March 1999
Foreign links

Parisian-based COFACE (Companie Française D’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur), the world’s leading export credit insurer, has acquired a 20% stake in local Credit Underwriting Agency Ltd. (CUAL).
John Manners, MD of CUAL says, “This is a...

March 1999
The long and the short of it

Metropolitan has acquired the entire long-term business of Commercial Union of South Africa Limited (CUSAF) for R350m. This comprises the company’s life, asset management and unit trust businesses, and leaves CUSAF to concentrate on its core...