First Mutual establishes a COVID-19 committee

Listed First Mutual Holdings Limited has established a COVID19 Committee to formulate and implement strategies to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the group’s business.

The financial services company has diverse interests in short term insurance, short term re insurance, life assurance; long term re-insurance; as well as the property sector.

Its operations are housed under First Mutual Life, First Mutual Properties, First Mutual Health, NicozDiamond Insurance Company, First Mutual Wealth Management, First Mutual Reinsurance and FMRE Property & Casualty (Botswana). 

In a review of operations, accompanying the group’s audited abridged financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020, chief executive officer, Douglas Hoto, said COVID-19 had a negative impact on the growth prospects of the diversified company.

“The pandemic is still unfolding and therefore requires continuous monitoring and assessment,” said Hoto.

“In that regard the group has established a COVID19 Committee and mandated it to formulate and implement strategies to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the group business. The initial focus of the committee is to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the continuous service delivery to our customers as well enhancing their safety and that of our staff members in our premises as they offer service in this environment.”

He explained that as the pandemic unfolds, the committee would be putting strategies in place to respond as necessary.

“However, it is our view that the global and the Zimbabwe economy will eventually recover from the impact of the COVID19 pandemic,” Hoto said.

“This should be followed by the recovery of businesses of the group. Our initial assessment is that our group has no significant COVID19-related exposures such as travel insurance and business interruption.”

In the short term, Hoto said, the economy was however expected to continue to be adversely impacted by high inflation, shortages of foreign currency, foreign currency and fuel as well as the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The group is confident in the country’s medium-term economic prospects and will thus continue to invest in its core businesses and complementary areas,” said Hoto.

“We will retain our focus on balance sheet preservation and ensuring that our businesses achieve operating profits in a volatile environment. Efforts will also be made to enhance our regional footprint with a view to increasing our foreign currency earning potential.”

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