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Weekly weather overview and short-term outlook to Wednesday 20 February 2019

Weekly weather overview and short-term outlook to Wednesday 20 February 2019

Visual: Computer rendered colour map of sea level pressure for southern Africa on Thursday 14 February.

Source: GFS / NCEP / US National Weather Service as published by,

Recent Developments

This week’s visual has been chosen from a range of similar charts to show the extent and impact of the South Atlantic High Pressure cell, the single most important dominant force in Namibia’s weather.

For the duration of the week, the same daily pattern was replicated from early morning to early evening. At sunrise, the skies were mainly clear with only some alto level cirrus-nimbus clouds, again showing more of a late winter / early summer pattern than the expected mid-summer stance.

As every day progressed, humidity at surface level decreased, indicating rising air, while the temperature quickly reached 30°C across the entire country above the escarpment. At this stage, usually by about noon, some cloud build-up has started slowly drifting to the south-west from its source in the north and north-east.

By late afternoon, some good cloud cover was observed but the really intense clouds were only present over the Ohangwena, Okavango West, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions. Cloud development also followed a regular daily pattern, becoming more visible on satellite images as the day progressed.

The moisture would slowly condensate in a broad band from the Okavango, southwestward, first moving into Otjozondjupa and then into Khomas until it reached the escarpment on the other side of the Hochland. From there it deflected due south, running for about 400 km before it was repelled by the outer rim of the South Atlantic high as it moved in over the southern Namib. On its final leg, the clouds moved back inland crossing central Hardap and into the Karasburg district.

Most noticeable was the promising look of rain every afternoon which eventually fizzled out during the first half of the night, with very little, if any, convection. This is very easy to observe: No convection, no lightning.

The visual provides an easy-to-read format showing that the South Atlantic high carried out its customary mid-summer trajectory, slowly creeping around the continent from west to east and then moving up the Mozambican Channel and ridging back over South Africa’s Limpopo Province, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe’s lowveld.

The visual also clearly shows the area of lower pressure over the west-central parts of the subcontinent. This makes it easier to understand the rainfall pattern. Where the map shows yellow or green, the chances for rain are less, or even completely absent. Only where it is blue is there a reasonable chance for precipitation. Note also, that even Angola, Zambia and northern Mozambique are subject to limited high pressure control – not conducive for rain in Namibia as it blocks the route the moisture has to travel to reach us.

By Friday, the contiguous high has already split into two, setting up conditions for a mid-level trough next week that is expected to run from Angola through Botswana into South Africa.

On the Radar

Conditions over the weekend remain fairly static for the Namibian interior. The only exception is the Kavango, Bwabwata and Caprivi where a well-demarcated convergence zone is expected to develop.

There is a slight intrusion into the eastern parts close to the Botswana border, spreading deeper into the interior on Sunday but again with only limited rain prospects, and only from Windhoek further north.

On Monday sufficient moisture is still extant over the northern half but it will be a repeat of this week. Much promise with little rain although some heavy, very isolated falls may be experienced. No rain is expected for the southern half.

By Tuesday, the mid-level trough has developed to such an extent that there should be a broad intrusion of moisture from Angola running across Namibia from north to south. This leads to improved conditions for rainfall in the southern half by Wednesday. This activity will be limited to the interior above the escarpment.


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Sanlam 2018 Annual Results

7 March 2019


Sanlam’s 2018 annual results provides testimony to its resilience amid challenging operating conditions and negative investment markets

Sanlam today announced its operational results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. The Group made significant progress in strategic execution during 2018. This included the acquisition of the remaining 53% stake in SAHAM Finances, the largest transaction concluded in the Group’s 100-year history, and the approval by Sanlam shareholders of a package of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transactions that will position the Group well for accelerated growth in its South African home market.

Operational results for 2018 included 14% growth in the value of new life insurance business (VNB) on a consistent economic basis and more than R2 billion in positive experience variances, testimony to Sanlam’s resilience in difficult times.

The Group relies on its federal operating model and diversified profile in dealing with the challenging operating environment, negative investment markets and volatile currencies. Management continues to focus on growing existing operations and extracting value from recent corporate transactions to drive enhanced future growth.

The negative investment market returns and higher interest rates in a number of markets where the Group operates had a negative impact on growth in operating earnings and some other key performance indicators. This was aggravated by weak economic growth in South Africa and Namibia and internal currency devaluations in Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Substantial growth in Santam’s operating earnings (net result from financial services) and satisfactory growth by Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) and Sanlam Corporate offset softer contributions from Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) and Sanlam Investment Group (SIG).

Key features of the 2018 annual results include:

Net result from financial services increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2017;

Net value of new covered business up 8% to R2 billion (up 14% on a consistent economic basis);

Net fund inflows of R42 billion compared to R37 billion in 2017;

Adjusted Return on Group Equity Value per share of 19.4% exceeded the target of 13.0%; and

Dividend per share of 312 cents, up 8%.

Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Kirk said: “We are satisfied with our performance in a challenging operating environment. We will continue to focus on managing operations prudently and diligently executing on our strategy to deliver sustainable value to all our stakeholders. The integration of SAHAM Finances is progressing well. In addition, Sanlam shareholders approved the package of B-BBEE transactions, including an equity raising, at the extraordinary general meeting held on 12 December 2018. Our plan to implement these transactions this year remains on track.”

Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) net result from financial services declined by 5%, largely due to the impact of new growth initiatives and dampened market conditions. Excluding the new initiatives, SPF’s contribution was 1% down on 2017 due to the major impact that the weak equity market performance in South Africa had on fund-based fee income.

SPF’s new business sales increased by 4%, an overall satisfactory result under challenging conditions. Sanlam Sky’s new business increased by an exceptional 71%. Strong growth of 13% in the traditional individual life channel was augmented by the Capitec Bank credit life new business recognised in the first half of 2018, and strong demand for the new Capitec Bank funeral product. The Recurring premium and Strategic Business Development business units also achieved strong growth of 20%, supported by the acquisition of BrightRock in 2017. Glacier new business grew marginally by 1%. Primary sales onto the Linked Investment Service Provider (LISP) platform improved by 5%, an acceptable result given the pressure on investor confidence in the mass affluent market. This was however, offset by lower sales of wrap funds and traditional life products.

The strong growth in new business volumes at Sanlam Sky had a major positive effect on SPF’s VNB growth, which increased by 7% (14% on a comparable basis).

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) grew its net result from financial services by 14%. Excluding the impact of corporate activity, earnings were marginally up on 2017 (up 8% excluding the increased new business strain).

New business volumes at SEM increased by 20%. Namibia performed well, increasing new business volumes by 22% despite weak economic conditions. Both life and investment new business grew strongly. Botswana underperformed with the main detractor from new business growth being the investment line of business, which declined by 24%. This line of business is historically more volatile in nature.

The new business growth in the Rest of Africa portfolio was 68% largely due to corporate activity relating to SAHAM Finances, with the East Africa portfolio underperforming.

The Indian insurance businesses continued to perform well, achieving double-digit growth in both life and general insurance in local currency. The Malaysian businesses are finding some traction after a period of underperformance, increasing their overall new business contribution by 3%. New business production is not yet meeting expectations, but the mix of business improved at both businesses.

SEM’s VNB declined by 3% (up 6% on a consistent economic basis and excluding corporate activity). The relatively low growth on a comparable basis is largely attributable to the new business underperformance in East Africa.

Sanlam Investment Group’s (SIG) overall net result from financial services declined by 6%, attributable to lower performance fees at the third party asset manager in South Africa, administration costs incurred for system upgrades in the wealth management business and lower earnings from equity-backed financing transactions at Sanlam Specialised Finance. The other businesses did well to grow earnings, despite the pressure on funds under management due to lower investment markets.

New business volumes declined by 13% mainly due to market volatility and low investor confidence in South Africa. Institutional new inflows remained weak for the full year, while retail inflows also slowed down significantly after a more positive start to the year. The international businesses, UK, attracted strong new inflows (up 57%).

Sanlam Corporate’s net result from financial services increased by 4%, with the muted growth caused by a continuation of high group risk claims experience. Mortality and disability claims experience weakened further in the second half of the year, which is likely to require more rerating of premiums in 2019. The administration units turned profitable in 2018, a major achievement. The healthcare businesses reported satisfactory double-digit growth in earnings, while the Absa Consultants and Actuaries business made a pleasing contribution of R39 million.

New business volumes in life insurance more than doubled, reflecting an exceptional performance. Single premiums grew by 109%, while recurring premiums increased by a particularly satisfactory 56%.

The good growth in recurring and single premium business, combined with modelling improvements, supported a 64% (71% on a comparable economic basis) increase in the cluster’s VNB contribution.

Following a year of major catastrophe events in 2017, Santam experienced a relatively benign claims environment in 2018. Combined with acceptable growth in net earned premiums, it contributed to a 37% increase in gross result from financial services (41% after tax and non-controlling interest). The conventional insurance book achieved an underwriting margin of 9% in 2018 (6% in 2017).

As at 31 December 2018, discretionary capital amounted to a negative R3.7 billion before allowance for the planned B-BBEE share issuance. A number of capital management actions during 2018 affected the balance of available discretionary capital, including the US$1 billion (R13 billion) SAHAM Finances transaction. Cash proceeds from the B-BBEE share issuance will restore the discretionary capital portfolio to between R1 billion and R1.5 billion depending on the final issue price within the R74 to R86 price range approved by shareholders.

Looking forward, the Group said economic growth in South Africa would likely remain weak in the short to medium term future, and would continue to impact efforts to accelerate organic growth. The outlook for economic growth in other regions where the Group operates is more promising. Recent acquisitions such as the SAHAM transaction should also support operational performance going forward.

“We remain focused on executing our strategy. We are confident that we have the calibre of management and staff to prudently navigate the anticipated challenges going forward,” Mr Kirk concluded.

Details of the results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 are available at