Monday, April 14, 2008

Investors warned of sub-prime effects

SAGICOR FINANCIAL CORPORATION has put shareholders on notice that America's sub-prime mortgage crisis and economic recession "will likely impact the markets" in which the Barbados-based company operates.

The acknowledgement has come from Sagicor chairman Terrence Martins, who said although the financial turmoil gripping the United States did not affect the group much in 2007 and so far this year, Sagicor could soon be feeling the pinch from the US economic slowdown which was expected to last throughout 2008.

Reporting on the company's performance for the financial year ending December 31, 2007, Martins said the American insurance subsidiary, Sagicor Life Insurance Company, did not reach its revenue targets for 2007. This, he revealed, affected the group's revenue target while the full cost of operation was carried.

The revenue shortfall resulted from the long process of filing new products and establishing additional distribution, Martins said.

Sagicor General, the Caribbean property and casualty insurance subsidiary, also lagged in profits for the year. Even though the subsidiary was profitable, it "encountered some operational challenges . . . particularly in its Trinidad and Tobago operations".

Nevertheless, Martins stressed, "Sagicor is in a strong financial position; to weather these financial storms we will continue to focus on the fundamentals of efficiency and cost containment, the acquisition of quality assets, adherence to strong corporate governance, and the delivery of value to our customers".

Sagicor's total asset value was US$3.64 billion as at December 31, 2007, an increase of $286.42 million on the 2006 performance.

The Nation Newspaper
April 14, 2008

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