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Stanbic Dominates As Bancassurance Sees 54% Growth In Q2

The Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) has published industry performance for the period April-June 2021 (Q2) with Bancassurance recording a 54% growth dominated by Stanbic Bank Uganda which consolidated its market-share to 21.2% from 19.1 between January and March.

According to IRA, the insurance industry registered impressive growth in the first six months of 2021 on account of improved product uptake and interest generating a total of UGX600bn in gross premiums.

Bancassurance (life assurance and other insurance products sold through banking institutions) contributed 8.2% of the industry’s total business in the first six months of the year.

In 2020, the bancassurance sector produced UGX32bn (full year volume) compared to UGX49.3bn in the first half of 2021 which represents a 54.24% growth, as per industry report published by the regulator.

For the period under review (April-June 2021), Stanbic Bank consolidated its first position by growing its industry market share from 19.1% in Q1 2021 to 21.2% in Q2 of 2021.

Stanbic Bank’s bancassurance business dominated its rivals in the industry, attracting UGX10.4billion in total Gross Premiums for the period April-June 2021.

The bank also out earned its peers, raking in UGX1.91bn representing 24.4% of all bancassurance commissions paid to banks for the period under review.

Stanbic Bank also dominated bancassurance business for Non-life (General insurance) product- lines generating UGX3.5Bn which is equivalent to 28% of total industry volumes.

Moving forward, Singh Dogo, Stanbic Bank Uganda’s Head of Bancassurance said focus will be on gaining market leadership for the Life insurance business where the lender enjoys 12% market share equivalent to UGX6.9Bn but two percentage points behind the top spot holder.

He added that the bank’s good performance in the second quarter was driven by growth in general insurance and credit life business as well as short-term insurance covers for clients.

“These are stable, and our projection is that they will continue to grow on account of their unique positioning to address customer coverage needs coupled with our assured fast claims service,” Dogo explained.

For the period ahead, Dogo sees Stanbic’s Bancassurance efforts focusing on expanding dominance in individual life products with value propositions on essential services such as Education, Medical, and life insurance policies.

“As Stanbic Bank transforms into a platform business, we hope to leverage on digital, data and behavioural science investment to drive growth, backed by enhanced ability to anticipate and respond to client needs and developing the right solutions for them,” he said.



BoU To Pay Billions In Costs After Withdrawing Appeal Against Sudhir

In an unexpected turn of events, Bank of Uganda (BoU) on 15th September announced it was withdrawing Civil Appeal No. 7of 2020 which they  (via Crane Bank Limited (in receivership) has logged in the Supreme Court against businessman Dr Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments Limited.

In   the same spirit, Bank of Uganda stated that it will tolerate the respondent’s costs. “Take further notice that the appellant will pay the costs of the appeal and in the courts below to the respondents,” Bank of Uganda, the regulator of the financial sector, through their lawyers Messers Byamugisha & Co Advocates, said in a notice to Supreme Court.

Last year, Bank of Uganda ran to the Supreme Court to appeal the Court of Appeal ruling, which upheld an earlier High decision to dismiss a case that had been filed against businessman Sudhir by Crane Bank in receivership.

Prior, the Court of Appeal in Kampala threw out a case against Dr Sudhir.

The Panel of judges led by acting Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny- Dollo upheld the judgment of Commercial Court judge David K. Wangutusi in application filed by Bank of Uganda seeking a refund of Shs397 billion from Sudhir which he allegedly siphoned from the defunct Crane Bank. Court dismissed case with costs.

Bank of Uganda/Crane Bank in receivership (BoU) had appealed against an August 26, 2019 ruling where the High Court Commercial division dismissed with costs, the multi-billion lawsuit.

In his ruling, Justice Wangutusi stated that BoU/Crane Bank (in receivership) did not have a legal basis to sue Sudhir, the owner of Crane Bank, then the second biggest bank in Uganda.

Court ordered Bank of Uganda to pay Sudhir’s legal costs.

BoU /Crane Bank in Receivership had sued the property mogul and Meera Investments Limited for allegedly fleecing the defunct Crane Bank Limited (CBL) of Shs397 billion that the central bank wanted refunded.

Sudhir denied the allegation and has since counter-sued BoU, seeking compensation of $8m (Shs28 billion) in damages for breach of contract.

This Victory Is Not Just Yours, Lawyer Ssemakadde Congratulates Sudhir After BoU Withdrawals Crane Bank Appeal Case

This week, Bank of Uganda announced that it was withdrawing a Supreme Court appeal that was contesting the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of the case it filed on behalf of Crane Bank Ltd (in Receivership) vs. Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments Ltd.

The withdrawal gave an unprecedented victory for businessman Dr Sudhir Ruparelia who because of now well-known unfair witch-hunt by Bank of Uganda lost his bank Crane Bank, injured his reputation and billions of money in lost revenue.

Reacting to the news, lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde congratulated the businessman for achieving a historic, hard-fought and well-deserved Supreme Court victory against the Bank of Uganda.

In a widely well received congratulated message, Ssemakadde said: “When no one dared to hold the shambolic & near-defunct Central Bank and it's corrupt and crooked lawyers to account, you risked all by bringing to them 'the mother of all battles’.

Adding: “You withstood insult and innuendoes, you ignored naysayers and doomsday prophets and you focused on the basic principles of law - and you have vindicated. This victory is not just yours,”

Ssemakadde, recently trending as the legal rebel, equated Sudhir’s fight with Bank of Uganda to that of the biblical David v Goliath. He explained that Sudhir’s win is ‘an emphatic call to action, for all the downtrodden and citizens of goodwill to muster courage and strike massive blows against all bullies in their respective spaces, in accordance with the law.’

“Your family and your businesses did not need this battle; you shouldered this burden for Uganda and especially the meek and less fortunate, for whom the protection of the law had become a myth,” he said before congratulating Rajiv Ruparelia, Sudhir's only son, for effectively coordinating this might pushback effort.

He also congratulated Sudhir’s legal  team at Kampala Associated Advocates for articulating the case from the High Court to the Supreme Court with sublime adroitness and dexterity.

Global Leaders Announce Huge Push On Clean & Efficient Energy

On Energy Action Day, nations, the private sector, cities and international organizations announced major new initiatives on greening urban energy, the phasing out of oil and gas, and promoting hydrogen as a clean fuel. The virtual event, which took place ahead of the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy, aimed to accelerate collective action towards net-zero and climate-resilient energy systems. The Energy Action Day was jointly hosted by Denmark, IRENA, UNEP and the World Economic Forum.

"We have less than nine years to go. Nine years to achieve the goal of ensuring clean energy for all. We have no time to waste if we want to keep 1.5 degrees within reach. We have to start today: raise our ambitions, learn from each other and speed up our green efforts. Denmark hosted this Energy Action Day so we can do precisely this," Mette Frederiksen, Danish Prime Minister, stated in her opening remarks.

Coming just two months before the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the event saw the launch of the Urban Energy Coalition and the Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue and an announcement on the creation of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) amongst others.

COP26 President Designate the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, delivered a call to action to all countries to consign coal to history in Glasgow by phasing out existing coal power plants, committing to no new coal power plants, putting an end to international coal financing, instead working to scale up clean power alternatives.

"Ahead of COP26 and at the summit itself, we need governments to make those strong, clear commitments to end polluting coal generation and prioritise clean power. We urge countries to put an end to coal power, by phasing out existing plants, committing not to build any new ones, and putting an end to international coal finance.

And we need all investors, acting on our shared responsibility, to protect our planet. And we need to keep building up the international collaboration, at COP26 and indeed beyond it to accelerate the clean energy revolution over this vital decade," he stated.

Energy transition key to better future

As highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last month, humanity's continued dependence on fossil fuels is warming the world. The consequences – such as droughts, wildfires and floods – are already here and will only intensify without action. The energy sector accounts for approximately 65 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, which need to be halved by 2030 and eliminated by 2050 to stay on track to head off the worst impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, over 750 million people lack access to electricity and 2.6 billion still cook and heat with wood, charcoal, and other unhealthy fuels.

"Today, hundreds of millions of people struggle with energy poverty. We must provide everyone with energy equity and connectivity. The IPCC has sounded a code red for humanity. We must urgently and rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, otherwise the same people will suffer the most on hothouse Earth", said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). "The new initiatives announced at Energy Action Day are important steps towards achieving the transition."

The Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue

Hydrogen produced with renewable energy can play a key role in energy transition, as a sustainable, carbon neutral fuel. In order to achieve targets of net zero emissions, increasing the uptake of green hydrogen will be critical.

The Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue is a collection of commitments by a broad range of stakeholders that will contribute to accelerating the development of a green hydrogen ecosystem and value chain.

By showcasing action, the Catalogue aims to spark dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders and to inspire further commitments. The Catalogue is a result of a broad and inclusive partnership among key countries, international organizations and the private sector.

"In the coming decade, there are tremendous opportunities in accelerating the energy transition," said Francesco La Camera, IRENA's Director-General, "with co-benefits on energy security, energy access for all, high quality jobs, improved health through clean air and a safe climate.

The revolution in the energy sector driven by falling renewable costs is opening new possibilities for end-use and green hydrogen. I am convinced that with today's announcements, including the Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue, we will raise ambition and drive collective action under the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy to ensure all countries and regions can realise the benefits of the global energy transition."

Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA)

Ministers from Costa Rica and Denmark announced that they are leading the work to create an ambitious Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) to promote a phased transition away from the unstainable supply of oil and gas.

"Science has made it clear - the fossil era needs to come to an end. This is why we in Denmark have set an end date for oil and gas production and why Denmark and Costa Rica are building an alliance of countries willing to address the unstainable supply of oil and gas. Now we urge other governments to join us," stated Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities.

"Fossil fuels are, by far, the largest contributor to climate change, accounting for over 75% of all greenhouse gases. Science is clear that it is imperative to limit their supply and set an end for oil and gas production. Almost 20 years ago, Costa Rica took the brave decision to ban oil and gas exploration and exploitation. Now, along with Denmark we are calling other governments to join BOGA and move away from oil and gas", said Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister for Environment and Energy of Costa Rica.

The Urban Energy Coalition

Cities are, in many cases, driving much-needed innovation in the energy system, taking advantage of their unique role as planners and managers of infrastructure to integrate energy systems across buildings, transport, heating/cooling, industry, and power grids. Their actions deliver improved efficiency, circularity and greater use of renewables.

The Urban Energy Coalition was launched by UNEP, the European Commission, Global Covenant of Mayors, World Economic Forum (WEF) and REN21 – with the potential participation of the European Commission through Mission Innovation, to provide a joined-up approach to support cities on energy and innovation.

The goal is to provide cities with practical framework and tools to deploy integrated energy solutions at scale. WEF, a member of the Coalition for Urban Energy, also launched the beta version of the 'Toolbox of Solutions' which provides best practice and case studies on clean electrification, efficiency and smart infrastructure across energy, buildings, and mobility.

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