Dec 2018

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Middle East: Insurers wary of covering oil & gas decommissioning activity

Insurers may be wary of insuring decommissioning liabilities in the Middle East region, in the face of uncertainties surrounding the activity, according to three players in the oil and gas field.

MENA: Turkey and Qatar to overtake Lebanon in life expectancy by 2040

Lebanon, with an average life expectancy of 80.1 years in 2016 and ranked 31st among 195 nations and 1st among 20 MENA countries, may see Turkey and Qatar overtake it in average life expectancy in 2040, according to a new scientific study.

MENA: Some travel destinations in the region are safer than Europe

Parts of the MENA region are safer by a range of measures than some more popular holiday destinations, according to data sources collated by Which?, a major independent consumer body in the UK.

GCC: Demand for jobs for nationals will be highest in Saudi Arabia & Oman in next 20 years

Relative to the current size of the job market, the number of new jobs for nationals needed in the next two decades to meet labour market and social objectives is highest in Saudi Arabia and Oman and, to a lesser extent, Kuwait, said Moody’s Investors Service.

Algeria: Finance minister urges insurers to diversify products

Algeria’s finance minister Abderrahmane Raouya is urging insurers in the country to diversify their products and to explore other areas in which to expand their business, in light of the low penetration rate of the domestic insurance market.

Egypt: Board of insurance association backs mandatory motor insurance pool

The board of the Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE) has agreed in principle to launch a compulsory motor insurance pool following a recommendation made by the association’s motor insurance committee, said Mr Alaa El-Zoheiry, IFE chairman and managing director of Arab Misr Insurance Group.

Egypt: IFE joins the Global Federation of Insurance Associations

As part of its endeavours to develop its standards and strengthen relationships with the regional and international insurance communities, the Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE) has joined the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA), making it the third Arab state to join the organisation after Morocco and Tunisia.

Egypt: Moroccan reinsurer opens office in Cairo

Morocco-headquartered Société Centrale de Réassurance (SCR) has opened a representative office in Cairo as it seeks to expand business in Egypt.

Egypt: Insurers form IT committee as cyber issues grow in importance

The Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE) is forming a technical committee for information technology and will work with the other technical committees to discuss topics related to IT systems and information in the insurance sector.

Iran: Central Insurance backs InsurTech startups

Central Insurance of Iran (CII) is seeking to provide services for startups and knowledge-based companies.

Iran: AIG subsidiary makes exit in face of sanctions

American International Group (AIG) is exiting business activities in Iran that came with a subsidiary it acquired and which now butt up against the sanctions against Iran that have been reimposed by the Trump administration, reported Reuters.

Jordan: Insurance association issues motor guide

Lebanon: Study on influenza cases among beneficiaries of insurers & 3rd-party payers

The mortality rate for those who contracted influenza was 5.7% in the population aged at least 65 and 0.4% in those younger than 65, according to a study conducted by the medical team at GlobeMed Lebanon, one of the companies within GlobeMed Group, a leading healthcare management group in the Middle East and Africa.

Lebanon: Lloyd's to help boost insurance market

The insurance authority in Lebanon, the Insurance Control Commission, has announced that it is allowing the Lloyd’s market to conduct business in the country through general management agents and coverholders.

Morocco: Bancassurance netted 25% of total premiums in 2017

Premiums generated by bancassurance jumped by 21% to MAD9.7bn ($1bn) in 2017, and doubled in the 10 years from 2008 to 2017, according to data from the Supervisory Authority for Insurance and Social Security (ACAPS). Bancassurance accounted for almost 25% of overall premiums of MAD39bn generated through all channels last year.

Oman: National reinsurer posted net profit growth of almost 400% for 9M18

Oman Re, the first reinsurer established in Oman, said its net profit rose by 396.2% y-o-y to OMR363,700 ($945,904) for the first nine months of 2018.

Saudi Arabia: Combined 9-month profits of insurers decline by a third

The combined profits of listed insurers in Saudi Arabia fell by 33% to SAR982m ($261.9m) from January to September, compared with SAR1.47bn for the corresponding period last year.

Saudi Arabia: Almost half unhappy with motor insurance pricing

About half of respondents (48%) polled in a recent survey on the behaviour and perceptions of the consumer towards vehicle insurance products in Saudi Arabia said they were not satisfied at all about the prices of motor insurance.

Tunisia: Insurance market grew by 8% to $429m in 1H18

Tunisia: Authorities to broaden insurance distribution channels

The Tunisian authorities plan to broaden distribution channels with new operators, with relevant provisions to be made to the insurance law currently under review. The objective is to leverage various channels, in addition to banks, to mobilise long-term savings which are necessary to financing economic development.

Turkey: Govt to make building completion insurance mandatory for urban renewal works

The Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation is preparing legislation to tighten standards in the construction industry for urban renewal projects.

Turkey: Eight insurers among top 100 tax-paying businesses

Eight insurers in Turkey are ranked among the top 100 tax-paying businesses this year, twice the number last year when four insurers were on the list. 

Turkey: Insurance regulatory chief looks to technology to transform supervisory functions

The new chairman of the Insurance Supervisory Board at the Turkish Treasury, Mr Mete Guler, has named technological transformation of the regulator as a priority goal. The aim is to provide the Board with a more effective information-based structure.

UAE: More than half of insured population are overweight

More than 60% of people insured in the UAE are overweight, according to a study compiled by the Oman Insurance Company (OIC).

UAE: Insurance regulator issues rules for marketers

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) has barred insurance marketers from issuing policies on behalf of the company that they represent.

UAE: Health Authority directs insurers to suspend Iranian Hospital from medical coverage

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has issued a notice to insurers, instructing them to suspend immediately the Iranian Hospital from their coverage.

UAE: DIFCIA tackles 4IR topic at industry event

As part of its role in keeping its members abreast with the latest development trends, the DIFC Insurance Association (DIFCIA) hosted Mr Ian Fletcher, director of IBM Institute for Business Value in the Middle East and Africa Region to talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and its impact on society and business including the insurance industry.

UAE: Listed insurers saw 30% rise in combined profits in first 9 months

The 30 listed insurers in the UAE have reported a combined profit of AED1,420m ($386.7m) in the first nine months of this year as compared to AED1,092m for the corresponding period in 2017 and AED778m in the same period of 2016. This translates to a CAGR of 35%, said Badri Management Consultancy, a boutique actuarial consulting firm.

UAE: ADNIC's net profit for 9M18 nears $60m

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) said its net profit for the first nine months of the year reached AED218.8m ($59.6m), up 22.6% compared with the same period of last year, on the back of higher underwriting income. 

UAE: Singapore-based FinTech firm opens office in DIFC

Singapore-based digital wealth services and robo-advisory firm WeInvest has opened its office in the DIFC to serve the Middle East market.


IASB postpones IFRS 17 implementation to Jan 2022

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), an independent body responsible for the development and publication of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), has voted to delay the implementation of IFRS 17 by a year to 1 January 2022.

Greater collaboration between regulators and policymakers to develop FinTech ecosystem

Regulators and policymakers around the world are working closer together to develop and grow the FinTech ecosystem across markets. Together with FinTech industry associations, regulators are entering into partnerships globally to share leading practices, experiences and frameworks, and help FinTech firms export their services and expand in each other’s markets. Regulators in the UK, Singapore and Australia have entered into the most number of bilateral agreements with other regulators.

Stronger push to advance IAIS initiatives following annual conference

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) concluded its 25th annual conference in November with a commitment to advancing its current initiatives. 

Global insurance M&A hits highest level with $44.4bn in 1H18 since financial crisis

The deal value for global insurance M&A reached $44.4bn in the first half of 2018, driven by a slew of megadeals which pushed value to its highest first-half total since the financial crisis, according to a recent report from Willis Towers Watson and Mergermarket. 

Willis Towers Watson targets market growth through new operation

Willis Towers Watson has boosted its presence in Kazakhstan by opening a new operation to serve clients in the country.


Algeria: Call for takaful certification committee to be set up

A certification committee should be established which would certify all operations related to takaful, said Mr Abdelhakim Hadjou, general manager of Trust Insurance and Reinsurance Algeria.

Egypt: New bancatakaful deal for life takaful operator

First Abu Dhabi Bank’s (FAB) Egyptian unit, one of the largest foreign banks in the country, and Egyptian Life Takaful Company (GIG) have inked a bancatakaful partnership deal, which allows the bank to offer GIG’s range of life insurance products in Egypt throughout its nationwide network covering Cairo, Alexandria, the Delta, Upper Egypt and the Red Sea, according to media reports.

Malaysia: Etiqa has strong potential for overseas growth

Etiqa, the insurance and takaful business unit of Malaysia’s Maybank, has strong potential for growth in overseas markets like Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to CIMB Equities Research as reported by The Star.

Malaysia: Govt to pilot free health insurance plan for low-income group

The government will pilot a national health insurance scheme for Malaysia’s lower-income group, said finance minister Lim Guan Eng in his 2019 Budget speech in Parliament in November.

Malaysia: BNM's shariah arm rejects financial retakaful proposal

The Shariah Advisory Council (SAC) of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has announced that the financial retakaful (FinRe) proposal based on the concept of hibah bithawab (gift with reward in return) between a retakaful operator and a takaful operator is not permissible due to some reasons.

Oman: Pioneer takaful operator launches sultanate's first telematics app

Takaful Oman, the sultanate’s pioneer takaful operator, has introduced a new mobile app designed to record the driving pattern of users by monitoring their speed, acceleration, mileage and phone usage while driving, reported Muscat Daily.

Saudi Arabia: Kingdom's sole reinsurer posts 16% jump in 9-month net profit before zakat

Saudi Re recorded a net profit before zakat of SAR24.1m in the nine-month period ending 30 September 2018, an increase of 16% over the same period last year.

UAE: Abu Dhabi National Takaful to distribute $1.2m cash returns to policyholders

Abu Dhabi National Takaful Co has announced surplus distribution of AED4.4m for its eligible individual and corporate family takaful policyholders for the year 2017, indicating a profitable y-o-y performance by the company.

Global: IFSB publishes FAQs for several standards

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has published answers to selected frequently asked questions (FAQs) on four of its standards and guidelines.