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Liberty Holdings S.A, looking for acquisitions in Nigeria

Liberty Holdings, South Africa’s fourth largest insurer, is looking at acquisitions in Nigeria to establish a strong regional presence in West Africa, its chief executive said on Thursday.

The Johannesburg-based firm, which is majority owned by Africa’s biggest lender Standard Bank, has an asset management outfit in Ghana and a regional health insurance business in Nigeria but wanted to expand its footprint, CEO Thabo Dloti said.

“Clearly the big area where we are looking to establish ourselves is Nigeria, both in insurance and asset management,” Dloti told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Africa in Cape Town.

“It’s a journey we’ve travelled for the last year or so, looking for the right opportunity and finding the right partner.”

Liberty reported a 3 percent decline in full-year profit in February, reflecting a contraction in earnings from its shareholder investment portfolio.

In all, Liberty has a presence in 16 countries in Africa. It has around 650 billion rand ($53 billion) of assets under management.