South Africa's financial services group Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) in engaged in negotiations with Nico Holdings, to acquire 49% stake in the general insurance operations in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed by the concerned parties.

The cluster within the Sanlam Group, SEM has been assigned to expand into international emerging markets currently is finalizing the deal.

Sanlam Emerging Markets CEO Heinie Werth said that SEM already holds a 49% in NICO Life insurance in Malawi and the current discussions form part of SEM’s strategy to deepen relations with existing partners in pursuit of appropriate opportunities in emerging markets.

"The life operations in which we became involved during 2011 have done well despite difficult trading conditions in Malawi in recent years," Werth added

Currently managing business in India, Malaysia and 10 countries in Africa, SEM reported 83% growth in gross result from financial services for the half year to 30 June 2013.

Sanlam Group said that Africa remains a key investment destination and it would inform the market in due course regarding the conclusion of the talks with Nico Holdings.

Originally established as a life insurance company in 1918, Sanlam Group head office is located at Bellville near Cape Town in South Africa and has presence across the country and business interests elsewhere in Africa, Europe, India, the US and Australia.