Seychelles government sells final shares in SACOS insurance company
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles government no longer has any interest in insurance company, SACOS Insurance Group now that the sale of its remaining 20 percent shares in the company has been completed, according to a press statement issued this afternoon by the Seychelles Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment.
“The privatization of the SACOS Insurance Group has been completed following the successful sale of all of 399,990 shares that Government had been holding in the Group,” reads the statement.
On April 28, the government announced that the final sale of its shares in the insurance company would be done through the Seychelles securities exchange Trop-X.
According to the statement the sale off all the shares was completed within 10 days following the announcement.
“As a bonus to Government, the shares were sold for SCR75 per share [at today's rate $6.16], or an 11% premium to where they had been trading in the market (SCR67 per share) [at today's rate $5/50]. This added SCR15 million [approx $1.23 million] to the SACOS' market capitalization and SCR3 million [$246 thousand] to the value of the sale. In total Government received US$2.1 million and SCR4.0 million [$328 thousand] from the sale, higher than expected,” said the statement, referring to the Seychelles Rupee (SCR), which was converted to US dollars via currency converter xe.com by SNA.
The Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment describes the public interest to buy the shares as overwhelming.
The privatization of SACOS was first announced late 2005.
In total 80 percent of the capital was to be privatized, out of which 30 percent was to be reserved for strategic investors with experience in the insurance business, an equal percentage was offered to the general public, while the staff who were interested were given the opportunity to buy 20 percent of the shares.
The government at the time decided to retain only 20 percent of its capital in SACOS.
The announcement that the company would be fully privatized was made by the Minister for Finance, Trade, and Investment Pierre Laporte during his budget address in 2013 and in the statement issued today Laporte says he is satisfied with the final sale of shares.
"This sale marked several important milestones for Seychelles. First, it underlined Government's commitment to give a greater role to the private sector in the development of our economy. Second, it was the first time that Government has sold its shares through the Securities Exchange. Thirdly, the premium over the trading price shows strong public confidence in SACOS as a group and in the Seychelles financial sector in general," said Laporte.
Sacos was the first company to list on Seychelles' first securities exchange, Trop-X, in August 2013.