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The insurance industry is dipping its toes in the Ethiopian Securities Exchange (ESX) as Zemen becomes the first insurer to hold a 20 million birr stake in the upcoming stock exchange.

The deal was signed yesterday at Zemen Insurance headquarters, granting the firm a two percent stake in the Exchange should promoters stick to their original ceiling of one billion birr in equity.

Zemen Bank was the first financial institution to invest in the Exchange, which has since seen several other commercial banks jump on the bandwagon. This includes Awash Bank, which is investing 70 million birr in the market.

“Zemen Insurance’s investment comes at a critical time as we are finalizing our capital raising process, said Tilahun Kassahun (PhD), CEO of the Exchange.

Four state-owned enterprises and the Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH) hold a 25 percent stake in the Exchange. Tilahun and his team plan to wrap up equity offerings at the end of the month.

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