NU Online News Service, Dec. 18, 10:03 a.m. – The Sage Group Ltd., Johannesburg, South Africa, says its Sage Life Assurance of America Inc. and Sage Life (Bermuda) Ltd. units may have to stop writing new business in mid-January 2003 if they cannot raise more capital.

Sales for the first three quarters of 2002 amounted to $160 million, up 18% from sales for the comparable period in 2001, but the world capital market slump has made raising capital to support further growth difficult, Sage says.

“Sage Group considered it prudent to utilize existing resources for the management of the existing business on the books,” Sage says.

Sage reports that it is still trying to raise capital or sell the U.S. and Bermuda units.

Sage has more than enough assets and reinsurance to back existing customers’ separate account assets, death benefits and guaranteed rider features, the company says.