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Kenya Reinsurance Jumps Most in 3 Years on Profit: Nairobi Mover

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April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya Reinsurance Corp., the state-owned reinsurer, jumped the most in three years after profit advanced 24 percent in 2011.

Shares of Kenya Re, as the company is known, surged 16 percent to 9.3 shillings at 12:18 p.m. in the capital, Nairobi, the biggest intraday rally since April 2009.

“The numbers are good and they have to be seen in the context that the insurance has been doing badly,” Samora Kariuki, a research analyst at Nairobi-based NIC Securities Ltd. said in a phone interview today. “The market has realized that Kenya Re is not heavily exposed to the stock market because of their investments in property.”

Net income climbed to 1.91 billion shillings ($23 million) from 1.54 billion shillings a year earlier, the Nairobi-based company said yesterday in a statement e-mailed by the city’s stock exchange. Kenya Re is looking for a location for its southern Africa regional office as the company now has “a sizeable volume of business” in the region, Managing Director Jadiah Mwarania told reporters today in Nairobi, the capital.

Kenya Re, which currently provides its services to 170 insurance companies in 45 countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola, intends to add at least 10 more insurers and increase premium income 15 percent, he said.

Net earned premiums climbed to 5.7 billion shillings from 4.3 billion in 2010, the company said yesterday.

Kenya Re plans to offer bonus shares at a ratio of one for every six held and a dividend of 0.35 shilling per share, Mwarania said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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