OLD MU­TUAL

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Opening Bell -

Share price: R22.74 JSE code: OMU

its HOLD man­aged OLD sep­a­ra­tion MU­TUAL HAS and has COM­PLETED un­bun­dled both Quil­ter, its UK and US fo­cused as­set man­age­ment firm, and Ned­bank, one of the largest banks in SA, from its share.

Dur­ing the fi­nal phase, when Ned­bank shares were un­bun­dled, Old Mu­tual shares fell a bit harder than ex­pected: about 26% vs the ex­pected 20% mark.

What re­mains within the sta­ble is a pan-African in­vest­ment, sav­ings and in­sur­ance group with a strong fo­cus on ex­plor­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices op­por­tu­ni­ties in Africa. Though in the medium term the weaker rand may have a neg­a­tive im­pact on Old Mu­tual, as it falls in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor which is gen­er­ally neg­a­tively hit by a weaker rand and no longer has UK and US busi­nesses to off­set rand weak­ness, the fo­cus on a mea­sured ex­pan­sion into Africa will give Old Mu­tual ac­cess to a huge pool of pre­vi­ously un­served cus­tomers.

Much as Capitec has banked the un­banked, Old Mu­tual plans to pro­vide in­sur­ance, sav­ings and in­vest­ment prod­ucts to a mar­ket that has largely never had ac­cess to such prod­ucts. So it might be pru­dent to al­low Old Mu­tual time for this pan-African ex­pan­sion to gain mo­men­tum.

For now, there is no com­pelling case to buy ag­gres­sively, but if its am­bi­tions come to fruition, there could be value in this stock. Pa­tience will be re­quired though.

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