Mozambique-registered insurer International Commercial and Engineering (ICE ) Seguros has increased its capital to US$10 million, as it positions itself to take advantage of Mozambique’s growing mining, gas and agricultural industries.
Mozambique today is reminiscent of Angola on the cusp of its oil boom 15 years ago, says Group CEO Rob Lewis. “We’ve seen this exact scenario in Angola in 2003 when we went into that market. The difference is that Mozambique has a broader economy and tighter fiscal and political discipline. If you’re not in and well capitalized it may well be too late,” he says.
ICE has been involved in the Mozambique insurance industry since 1993 when the sector first opened to private players. In 2015 it launched as a specialist insurer covering large commercial risks and focusing on the oil and gas sector. Since then it has grown rapidly to become the third biggest out 20 insurers in the market.
Mozambique is now on the verge of a more than $20 billion investment in its first major gas export project – and similar multi-billion dollar projects will be sanctioned within the next three years. Coupled with a booming mining sector and signs that the country could finally start to fulfil its agricultural potential, ICE is scaling up its capacity to cater to multinationals from Japan, Brazil, the USA, China, South Africa, Europe, Nigeria , Angola and Korea who need solutions in Mozambique.
“It’s no longer business as usual,” says ICE Managing Director and Mozambique head Edward Capel. “We need the bigger balance sheet to give us the capacity to provide our clients and their brokers with solutions that compete with markets across the world.
“Technology, training, expertise and a strong service ethic are required to just keep up with the market,” he adds.
ICE’s long-standing presence in Mozambique gives it an edge over other global competitors. “The days of insurance salesmen parachuting in from abroad and leaving with a fistful of premium are gone,” Lewis says. “Operators and investors need multinational expertise, service and most importantly accountability, in-country.”