Arig launches rights issue

17 September 2004
Arab Insurance Group (Arig)on 12 September launched a $50 million rights issue, due to close on 27 September, which will raise capital to $200 million. Ahli United Bankis the receiving bank while Bank of Kuwait & the Middle Eastand Emirates Bankare the agents for the receiving bank.

Shareholders are being offered 50 million shares at a price of $1 each. Arig shares were trading at $0.93 before trading was suspended on 4 September. If the issue is oversubscribed, shares will be allocated up to $100 million before scaling back begins. Kuwait's Ministry of Finance, the UAE's Ministry of Finance & Industry and the Central Bank of Libya own 16.5 per cent each in Arig, while 50.5 per cent is with private investors.

The fresh funds will be used for both geographical expansion into the CIS, southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and an expansion of product offerings, particularly into medical, life and Islamic insurance. In 2003, Arig returned to profitability for the first time in four years and the group has largely completed a period of retrenchment, with the exception of a number of non-core assets that remain to be divested. Standard & Poor'sassigned Arig a BBB long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength rating in June (MEED 23:7:04).

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