Kinshasa — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) insurance regulator is preparing to open up an industry for the first time that could be worth as much as $500m a year to investors. The newly created Insurance Regulatory Authority, known by the French acronym Arca, received interest from at least 16 companies after requesting letters of intent in June, MD Eric Mboma said, declining to identify individual firms. It will seek formal applications from the firms in August and award licences in the fourth quarter, Mboma, a former CE of Standard Bank Group’s DRC unit, said in a phone interview from the capital, Kinshasa. After a series of false starts, issuing the permits will mark the opening up of one of the world’s last insurance monopolies. Since 1967, state-owned Société National d’Assurances, or Sonas, has been the only insurance company allowed to operate in DRC, Africa’s fourth-largest country by population. A March 2015 insurance law that provided for the liberalisation of the...

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