Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

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 performance and sales volumes achieved by Stangen in the year under review, the special actuarial liability has been reduced to R127m," the group said. John Evans, Apil’s sole executive, could not be reached on Friday.

Stangen has picked up 15% of life insurer Different Life for R20m cash.

Meanwhile, Apil collected pretax profits of R242m in the period, an improvement on 2016’s loss of R103m. Headline earnings, however, shrank 63% to R186m.

maakem@bdfm.co.za

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