Financial services group Liberty today reported a mammoth loss of between R2.17 billion for the six months ended on 30 June as COVID-19 continues to wreck havoc in the economy.
The company, which is majority owned by Standard Bank in market update said its bottom line would be hit by the R3 billion it has set aside to deal with COVIDd-19 death claims, retrenchment claims and policy lapses.
“Financial market volatility will continue to have a material impact on the returns from the Shareholder Investment Portfolio consistent with a balanced portfolio, managed with a long-term through-the-cycle investment horizon,” Liberty said.
“We also expect continued pressure on new business volumes and margins given the extended lockdown period and the financial distress that is prevalent in South Africa.Notwithstanding these uncertainties, the Group is expected to remain well capitalised and able to provide uninterrupted service to our clients,” the company added.
Liberty said it paid R5.3 billion in death and disability payments in the six months to 30 June 2020 increased, and R4.1 billion in annuity payments. The company said death claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been low to date but that they are starting to increase.