Liberty Life Braamfontein. Picture: SUPPLIED
Liberty Life Braamfontein. Picture: SUPPLIED

Liberty Group, an insurer and asset manager that will soon delist from the JSE and be incorporated into parent Standard Bank, is gearing up for the potential fourth wave of Covid-19 infections by relooking into its pandemic reserves and vaccination rollouts.

In an operational update on Thursday, Liberty said mortality claims increased significantly during the third quarter due to the severity of the third wave of infections in SA and subsequent waves in the various African territories in which it operates.

“The pandemic reserve set aside in 2020 and 2021 has been utilised to absorb the relevant risk experiences across SA Retail, Liberty Corporate and Liberty Africa, and specific qualifying pandemic related expenditure,” the company said in a statement.

Liberty, led by CEO David Munro, has already committed about R5bn worth of reserves to deal with death claims since the pandemic started early in 2020.

Graphic: DOROTHY KGOSI
Graphic: DOROTHY KGOSI

However, the intensity of the potential fourth wave, anticipated in December, is likely to be less severe, according to scientific experts, citing the increased levels of vaccination among the adult population. To date, SA has administered 24.3-million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, according to Bloomberg Covid-19 vaccine tracker.

The underlying business performed strongly in the nine months to end-September, compared with the same period a year ago. The group’s long-term insurance indexed new business sales surged 31% to R6.80bn year on year.

Asset under management rose 8% to R838bn, due to buoyant global markets and group net customer cash inflows.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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