African Phoenix Investments (Apil), the company formerly known as African Bank Investments (Abil), has shed its credit-life book and shifted focus to life insurance at its sole operating subsidiary after a transaction to sell the subsidiary failed. The deal failed after empowerment shareholders of the then-Abil felt the price African Bank was offering for Standard General Insurance Company (Stangen) — which provided credit life insurance to bank customers — was too low. Stangen has since had to sell the credit life book to African Bank’s new insurer, Guardrisk, leaving Apil’s future uncertain. This is because its other subsidiaries, furniture chain Ellerines and Debt Services — which is collecting on the bad portion of the rescued bank’s debtors’ book — remain under business rescue and curatorship. The group placed a R189m special actuarial liability on its books in September 2016 as uncertainty arose regarding Stangen’s ability to generate new business. "Based on trading performanc...

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