Regional conglomerate ANSA McAL will be making a “very measured investment” into the cryptocurrency space, the group’s Chief Executive Officer Anthony N Sabga III has revealed.
Sabga made the comments yesterday as the conglomerate hosted a virtual meeting to release its financial results for the first half of this year.
ANSA McAL recorded a profit before tax of $305 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021.
This was a 107 per cent increase when compared to the first half of 2020 when profit before tax was $147 million.
Total assets also grew by six per cent to $16.632 billion.
And with a healthy gearing ratio of 11.4 per cent, Sabga said the conglomerate has a positive outlook for the future.
“A little bit of a wild card and something that is interesting and we wanted to also share. We will be taking an interesting step and making a very measured acquisition or a measured investment into the blockchain cryptocurrency space,” Sabga said.
“We definitely see that as a developmental pole and notwithstanding it already being one of the best performing assets classes in history it is something that we are, as I mentioned, taking a measured approach, as to how we might partake, and as organisation learn and also benefit from this emerging economy,” he stated.
And while Sabga mentioned the conglomerate’s intention to enter into digital currency, he assured that steps have been taken to strengthen ANSA McAL’s protection against cyberattacks and ransomware.
“I want to share and remind everyone that we were actually the victim of a cyberattack last year and were able to correct and take the key learnings and continue to take the key learnings from that to prevent a situation like that from ever happening again,” Sabga stated.
“And we are fairly confident that we have exceptionally robust systems in place, a continuous programme of training and improvement for our people that interface with our system how to detect an attack when it comes in. We have fortified the entire structure and framework of the group’s IT security capacity and capability to prevent that,” he stated.
“A cybersecurity attack can be a very material and reputationally damaging item and as such, it remains as the front and centre risk that needs to be managed, not just for our group but for everyone, for all major organisations in the region. So we take the key learnings of having been a victim and have used that to propel us to protect ourselves even further which is the best possible advice available,” Sabga stated.
In terms of another major threat facing the region, Sabga said the conglomerate remains a proponent of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus as this will ensure a healthy society and encourage economic recovery.
As such Sabga said that the conglomerate’s internal vaccination level currently stands as high as 70 per cent.