Old Mutual Mulls Listing Emerging-Markets Unit in South Africa

Old Mutual Plc’s emerging-markets unit, with holdings that include Old Mutual South Africa and Mutual & Federal, may be listed in Johannesburg after the U.K. insurer breaks up its business.

“There’s nothing definitive on the listing,” Old Mutual South Africa Chief Executive Officer David Macready told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday. “It intuitively makes sense that Old Mutual Emerging Markets will be re-domiciled and listed in South Africa.”

After reviewing the insurer’s operations, Bruce Hemphill, the CEO of London-based Old Mutual, said in March he plans to split the company to reverse years of flagging returns. The insurer will spin off its controlling stake in South African lender Nedbank Group to shareholders and separate the U.S.-based asset management business, its U.K. wealth operations and its emerging-markets unit, which includes the South African operations, by the end of 2018.

Old Mutual will continue its “working relationship with Nedbank,” Macready said. The insurer “will always have a significant and strategic stake in Nedbank,” he said.

No decision has yet been reached on how to distribute Nedbank’s shares, said Michael Goemans, the chief financial officer of Old Mutual South Africa. “It may make sense for Nedbank to have South African shareholders,” he said.

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