Magazine

May 2018

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News


MENA

GCC: Healthcare spending to hit $104bn by 2022

A changing demographic and epidemiologic structure is stimulating demand for healthcare services in the GCC. At the same time, the role of the private sector in healthcare is increasing, encouraged by incentives, mandatory health insurance and other reforms, said investment bank Alpen Capital in a report which provides a perspective on the GCC healthcare industry.
 


Algeria: Qatari insurer to complete property project this year

Qatar General Insurance and Reinsurance Company (QGIRCO) is developing a huge real-estate project in Algeria, expected to be completed by the end of this year, said media reports.
 


Bahrain: New law allows private employees access to pension benefits

The Shura Council has approved a law that will allow private sector employees to purchase assumed years of service so that they can enjoy relevant pension benefits in line with civil servants and military personnel.
 


Bahrain: Trust Re introduces affinity reinsurance

Trust Re has expanded its service offering to include affinity reinsurance, focusing on geographical areas where the company already operates, with particular concentration in MENA. 
 


Egypt: Regulator's goals for insurance sector with premiums to double by 2022

Dr Mohamed Omran, chairman of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), has revealed that the National Strategy for Non-bank Financial Services, currently in the drafting stage, aims to double insurance premiums in the country to EGP50bn ($2.8bn) by 2022 from EGP24bn in 2017.
 


Egypt: Financial Regulatory Authority gets new board members

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has issued a decree to revamp the composition of the board of directors of Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).
 


Egypt: Misr Insurance among 23 state entities to be listed on stock exchange

The Ministry of Finance has selected 23 companies for the first phase of the state IPO programme, including the country’s biggest insurer, Misr Insurance.
 


Egypt: Six insurers to increase capital

Six Egyptian insurers are preparing to increase their capital by between EGP138m ($7.8m) and EGP168m each during the current financial year ending 30 June 2018. The total capital of each of these companies will range between EGP502m and EGP670m after the increases.
 


Egypt: Regulator issues rules for insurance broking trainees

The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has set rules governing trainees in the field of insurance broking, said Mr Reda Abdel Moaty, economic adviser and FRA deputy chairman. The rules took effect last month.
 


Iran: Retirement funds in crisis

Of the 18 existing retirement funds in Iran, including basic social pension funds, 17 are in the red.
 


Kuwait: Govt studies 3 health insurance proposals for expats

The Ministry of Health is currently studying three approaches to introduce health insurance for expatriates, said media reports. 
 


Kuwait: Insurers to adhere to international governance standards

The Kuwaiti Minister of Trade and Industry Khalid Al-Roudhan has called on insurers to abide by the guidelines of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the standards of the Islamic Financial Services Organization (IFSB) and the insurance governance system.
 


Morocco: Insurers in risk-based prudential framework trial

Insurers in Morocco are working hard to shift to new risk-based regulatory requirements, with tests to be conducted before June to assess the impact of the requirements on insurers.
 


Morocco: Lloyd's expands in Africa with new Casablanca office

Lloyd’s has opened a new office in Casablanca Finance City (CFC) to provide tailored risk solutions in North Africa in early April, appointing Mr Salah El-Kadiri as its general representative. 
 


Morocco: Insurers face pressure to reduce exposure to equities investments

Insurers will gradually reduce their exposure to the equities market in proportion to their overall investments, unless there is a significant increase in their capital, according to Mr Othman El Alamy, secretary general of the Insurance Supervisory and Social Security Authority (ACAPS), and Mr Bachir Baddou, director general of the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (FMSAR).
 


Morocco: Agents and brokers look to roadmap to resolve issues with insurers

Discussions between insurance brokers and agents and the Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies should lead to a roadmap on the issues that concern both sides, according to Mr Khalid Aouzal, president of the National Federation of Insurance Agents and Brokers (FNACAM).
 


Oman: Regulator sets out localisation targets in insurance sector

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has spelt out the Omanisation policy till 2020 for various job levels and functions in insurance companies.
 


Oman: Largest insurer opens office in Kuwait

The National Life & General Insurance Company (NLGIC), the largest insurer in Oman, has opened its first office in Kuwait City to expand innovative solutions.
 


Qatar: QIC works with Sompo Japan in knowledge exchange

QIC Group has started a knowledge exchange programme with leading insurance company Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance (SJNKI).
 


Qatar: Doha Insurance Group eyes offices in Beirut and London

Doha Insurance Group is seeking to open representative offices in London and Beirut that will promote reinsurance business, including energy risks, life and medical insurance, pending official approvals from relevant authorities, company chairman Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Bin Khalid Al Thani has said.
 


Tunisia: CICA-RE officially starts activities in Tunis branch

Togo-based reinsurer CICA-RE’s branch in Tunis has officially started its activities.
 


Turkey: Insurance association outlines tasks for 2018

The Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB) is starting a project to increase the quality of insurance industry data, according to Mr Can Akin Çaglar, president of the association.
 


Turkey: Life technical profits jumped by 47% in 2017

Technical profits in life business in Turkey soared to TRY1.31bn ($321.8m) in 2017, 47% higher than the TRY888m reported for 2016, data from the Turkish Insurance Association (TSB) show.
 


Turkey: Govt to make elevator insurance cover compulsory

The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology is working to make it compulsory for building owners to take up insurance on elevators, covering against death or bodily injury due to elevator accidents.
 


Turkey: Howden acquires majority stake in biggest independent broker

Howden, part of Hyperion Insurance Group, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in ACP, a leading insurance broker in Turkey and the largest independent broker in the market.
 


Turkey: Insurance agencies' contributions down in 2017

The proportion of total business contributed by insurance agencies has fallen to 55.7% last year from 61% in 2016.
 


UAE: Less than a third of investors assume financial advisers are reliable

While over half of UAE investors consult a financial adviser, less than a third consider them trustworthy, according to a new study on trust in the country’s financial services sector carried out by the CFA Institute.
 


UAE: Control mechanism needed for computing distributable profits

A defined control mechanism is needed for insurers in the UAE to calculate the permissible distributable profit to shareholders (dividend), subject to their solvency and liquidity positions, according to the FY2017 Performance Periodical published by Insurance Monitor.
 


UAE: VAT liability on unexpired policies estimated at $218m

The VAT liability of UAE insurers on unearned premiums for policies issued in 2017 that run into 2018 is estimated at AED800m ($217.8m).
 


UAE: Insurers to provide certificate of accident record free of charge

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) has confirmed that insurers have to provide the motor accident record of policyholders free of charge, regardless of whether the policy is in hard copy or in an electronic format.
 


UAE: Oman Insurance posted record GWP in 2017

Oman Insurance Company (OIC) has achieved its highest-ever GWP totalling AED3.72bn ($1bn) in 2017 against AED3.56bn in 2016, representing an increase of 4.5%.
 


UAE: Zurich launches online portfolio management facility for customers and advisers

Zurich International Life (ZIL) has launched a new online digital capability to allow customers to manage the investments held under their Zurich policies.
 


UAE: DIFC's FinTech ecosystem continues to grow with 5 new start-ups

The DIFC has recently welcomed five new start-ups and SMEs to its growing FinTech community, including Virtual i, the region’s first InsurTech firm and Regulation Technology Solutions, DIFC’s first RegTech firms.
 


Global

Global insured CAT losses hit record $144bn in 2017

Insurers paid out $144bn to cover the damage from Nat CATs and man-made disasters last year, the highest-ever recorded in a single year and up from $56bn in 2016, according to the latest sigma study from the Swiss Re Institute. 
 


Investment in InsurTech sector surged in 2017

Global investment in the InsurTech industry surged in 2017, with Europe emerging as a new InsurTech hub outside the US, according to new research from Accenture. The number of InsurTech deals grew 39% globally in 2017, with the total value of deals up 32%, to $2.3bn.
 


MENA

BIBA and WBN to help members and clients post-Brexit


Takaful

Global: IFSB seeks feedback on supervision of takaful

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has issued an exposure draft (ED) on takaful/retakaful for a two-month public consultation period which started on 28 March 2018.
 


Global: Islamic finance set to extend growth to outpace conventional

The growth of the Islamic finance sector will continue to outstrip the growth of conventional assets across core Islamic finance markets in the coming years, as demand for shariah-compliant financial instruments rises, said Moody’s Investors Service. 
 


Malaysia: Central bank chief outlines wide areas open to takaful


Takaful Oman partners Ahlibank to launch new home contents policy

Ahlibank has tied up with Takaful Oman to provide a comprehensive takaful home contents product, as part of its bancassurance products and as part of efforts to provide a diverse bundle of financial products and services to customers across the Sultanate. 
 


Saudi Arabia: Insurance market sees 59% drop in profits in 2017 on flat topline growth

The Saudi insurance sector’s aggregate profits before zakat plunged by 58.7% to SAR1bn ($267m) in 2017, while GWP remained flat at SAR35.4bn, according to corporate disclosures on Tadawul, the Kingdom’s stock exchange.
 


Saudi Arabia: Motor insurance data service launched

Najm Insurance Services, the leading traffic support service provider in Saudi Arabia, has launched its insurance database as a dedicated source of comprehensive motor-related information.
 


Saudi Arabia: Regulator warns insurers against denying motor cover based on customer's age

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has asserted that it is prohibited for motor insurers to deny compulsory or comprehensive auto insurance to any customer who has a valid driving licence.
 


Tunisia: Majority share of Zitouna Takaful placed on the block

The Tunisian government, Al Karama Holding and the Portfolio Investment Company, the majority shareholders of Zitouna Takaful and Zitouna Bank, have decided to proceed with the sale of a single block of shares representing 70% of Zitouna Takaful and 69.15% of the capital of Zitouna Bank by an international call for tenders.
 


Turkey: First-ever data shows premiums from participation insurance hit $330m in 2017


UK: Islamic insurance body seeks approval from shariah scholars for takaful standards

London’s draft standards for transaction of Islamic commercial insurance are seeking shariah scholars’ approval for rollout next year, said the Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL).
 


Events Page

Jordan: Apex holds workshop on cyber risks and financial lines

As part of its activities to update clients on recent developments in the insurance industry, Jordan-based insurance and reinsurance broker Apex Insurance organised a workshop in March to address the latest trends in cyber and financial insurance protection covers.
 


LIMRA examines changing regulations on distribution

LIMRA, a worldwide research, learning and development organisation, headquartered in Spain, organised in Dubai a workshop, ‘Changing regulation on distribution within the Middle East’.