Patrick Ward, President of **Bahamas First General Insurance (BFG)**, reports that parent company Bahamas First Holdings has closed the deal to sell a 20% stake to **The Economical Insurance Group** of Canada. He said the deal will assist BFG in charting its course – particularly with regard to expansion. In this connection the company already has announced its expansion to the Turks & Caicos by the end of the first quarter 2008.

The Economical Insurance Group has acquired about seven million ordinary shares in Bahamas First Holdings. Mr. Ward said the primary objective of the alliance was to attract a capital partner or shareholder who will participate in a meaningful way in the management of the company. Already, Bahamas First plans to tap into the training programmes and facilities of its new partner, early in 2008. Mr. Ward said the deal was one way of getting additional leverage without having to effectively cede control of the business to a foreign entity.

Commenting on the attraction that the Bahamian insurance market holds for overseas partners, he said it has a high insurance penetration rate, a currency pegged to the US dollar, and with a strong economy and very favourable outlook.