Jul 2019

Read the latest edition of AIR and MEIR as an Interactive e-book



MENA: Terrorism risks decline, but remain complex

Terrorism risks across the MENA region have decreased in line with the collapse of Islamic State (IS). However, risks persist in the energy sector, particularly oil and natural gas facilities, said Marsh in its ‘2019 Terrorism Risk Insurance Report’.

Middle East: London market widens list of waters deemed as high risk for shipping

London’s marine insurance market has widened the list of areas deemed high risk to include waters off Oman, the UAE and the Persian Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, in a move that could push up premiums, reported Reuters.

MENA: Regional growth to reach 3% per year in 2020-21

Regional growth in the MENA region is projected to pick up to around 3% per annum in 2020-21, supported by capital investment and policy reforms, said the World Bank in its report ‘Global Economic Prospects: Heightened Tensions, Subdued Investment’. 

Algeria: Biggest insurer grows at double the industry's pace

The largest insurer in Algeria, National Insurance Company (Société Algérienne des Assurances or SAA), posted a turnover of DZD27.7bn ($231.6m) for 2018, representing an increase of 4.4% y-o-y.

Bahrain: Listed insurers posted higher aggregate gains in 1Q2019

Listed Bahraini insurers increased their combined profits in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q2019) compared to the corresponding period of last year, despite challenges in the market, according to an analysis conducted by Mubasher Info.

Bahrain: Trust Insurance Management launches new cyber products

Trust Insurance Management (TIM) has concluded a coverholder agreement to underwrite cyber insurance products in cooperation and utilising the experience, expertise and capacity of the Tarian Consortium 9633 (a pool of Lloyd’s syndicates led by Beat Syndicate 4242). 

Bahrain: BNH acquires stake in health claims management firm

Insurance group Bahrain National Holding (BNH) has become a major shareholder in Health 360 Ancillary Services, which provides health insurance claims management services.

Brokerage firm to launch Bahrain's first online insurance aggregator

Bridge Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers, licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, is expected to launch Bahrain’s first online insurance aggregator Tameenek in August. 

Egypt: Insurers posted higher premium income but lower net gains in FY2018

Egypt’s insurance market posted total premiums of around EGP30bn ($1.8bn) for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2018 (FY2018), a growth rate of 25% compared to the EGP24bn chalked up for FY2017, according to the latest annual report of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).

Egypt: Delta Insurance wins huge deal to insure over 120K traders

Delta Insurance has signed an agreement with the Cairo Chamber of Insurance to provide coverage for more than 120,000 traders who are members of the commerce body, in what is the largest collective insurance contract on the life and property of traders.

Jordan: 21 listed insurers reported fall in combined 1Q net profit

The consolidated profits of 21 insurers operating in the domestic market in the first quarter of this year decreased by 13.4%, or JOD1m ($1.4m) to JOD6.45m, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, according to a study by Sanabel Alkhair for Financial Investments Company.

Jordan: Insurers face pressure on technical performance from competition

Jordan’s insurance market remains highly competitive, with pressure on technical performance accompanied by economic challenges, according to a report by A.M. Best.

Kuwait: Lawmakers approve new insurance law

The National Assembly has approved a new insurance law on the first reading, with lawmakers saying that the insurance sector must be supervised by the Central Bank or continue under the Commerce Ministry.

Kuwait: Govt tightens anti-money laundering controls

Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a decree requiring companies and institutions operating in the insurance, gold, banking and real-estate sectors to appoint a Kuwaiti auditor from 1 January 2020 to combat money laundering.

Morocco: Slower growth in overall premiums due to weaker life business

Total premiums generated by the Moroccan insurance industry crossed the threshold of MAD40bn ($4.1bn) to reach MAD41.3bn in 2018. The figure represents an increase of over 6.7% over the MAD38.7bn premium income reported for 2017. This growth rate was slower than the double-digit growth of previous years due to the sharp deceleration in life business.

Morocco: Insurance intermediaries to stage monthly protests

Members of the Moroccan Union of Insurance Agents and Brokers (UMAC) plan to hold protests in the middle of each month from June onwards.

Morocco: Marsh to acquire stake in broker Beassur

Marsh said it has reached an agreement to acquire a stake in Beassur, a leading insurance broker in Morocco. The terms of the transaction, which is expected to close later this quarter, were not disclosed. On closing, Beassur will operate as Beassur Marsh.

Oman: Insurance market remains stable with 2.6% growth in 2018

Total direct premiums of Oman’s insurance sector increased to OMR463.5m ($1.2bn) in 2018 compared to OMR451.5m in 2017, according to the audited financial statements of insurers.

Oman Re's GWP up 3% to $25.7m in 1Q2019

Oman Re achieved GWP of OMR9.9m ($25.7m) as at 31 March 2019, an increase of 3% over the same period last year, despite losing its rating prior to the major renewals. 

Palestine: 6 listed insurers achieved combined 1Q net gains of $7.5m

The combined net profit of six insurers listed on the Palestine Stock Exchange increased by 7.9% during the first quarter of 2019 on an annualised basis to $7.5m.

Qatar: Al Koot Insurance wins contract from Qatar Airways

Al Koot Insurance and Reinsurance, a subsidiary of Gulf International Services (GIS), has won a contract to provide health insurance cover to Qatar Airways’ employees and their families.

Saudi Arabia: Reinsurer more than doubled net profit in 1Q2019

Saudi Reinsurance (Saudi Re), the kingdom’s sole local reinsurer, saw its net profit before zakat surge by 227% in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q2019) to SAR24.8m ($6.6m), compared to SAR7.6m for the corresponding quarter of 2018.

Turkey: New independent insurance regulatory agency to be established

Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak has announced that a new Insurance Regulation and Supervision Authority (SDDK) will be set up to supervise the sector, raising expectations in the insurance industry.

UAE: 28 of 30 listed insurers made profits in 1Q2019

Insurers listed on the Dubai and Abu Dhabi bourses continued their strong performance in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q2019) as premium revenue improved, driven by a favourable regulatory environment.

UAE: Insurance Authority releases details of reinsurance regulations

Mr Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the UAE Insurance Authority (IA), has issued a resolution on regulations for reinsurance business, including the licensing and registration of reinsurers.

UAE: Ministry of Health & Prevention lists five health indicators to strengthen country's position

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has listed five health indicators, in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), to enable the decision-makers to develop planning strategies and health policies nationwide, as part of exploring healthcare future and achieving Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs).

UAE: SSP partners Refpoint Insurance Consultants to expand into the Middle East market

SSP, a global provider of technology systems and solutions for the insurance industry, has teamed up with Refpoint Insurance Consultants (RPIC) to expand into the ever-growing Middle East insurance market. The objective of the partnership is for RPIC to represent SSP in the MENA region, where it will help insurers and corporate brokers transition to its digital insurance platform.


Global reinsurance market firming, but not considered hard yet

Reinsurers saw some green shoots during this year’s April and June renewals, with property catastrophe rate increases in the 15% to 25% range on loss-affected accounts, according to S&P Global Ratings. The change follows disappointing reinsurance pricing increases in 2018 and early 2019.

Labuan continues to corner the captives market in Asia

Labuan IBFC remained the leading jurisdiction in Asia for captives formations in 2018, with six new formations over the year, bringing its total number to 48.

Reputational risk on the rise as business confidence declines: CNA Hardy

As global, interconnected risks become a reality, reputational risk is rising and business confidence is on the slide, according to CNA Hardy’s 2019 Global Risk & Confidence Survey.


Indonesia: 39 insurers yet to announce plans for spinning off takaful windows

Only 10 insurers have declared that they would spin off their takaful windows as at the end of April, to comply with the insurance law, according to the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

Indonesia: Retakaful company targets general insurance market to grow business

Retakaful company Reasuransi Syariah Indonesia (ReINDO Syariah) plans to expand its general reinsurance business as its current portfolio is dominated by life business.

Malaysia: Allied World launches retakaful window

Global insurer and reinsurer Allied World Assurance Company Holdings GmbH has announced the establishment of a retakaful window by the Labuan branch of Allied World Assurance Company. 

Saudi Arabia: SAICO to increase customer engagement with more shariah-compliant offerings

Saudi Arabian Insurance Company (SAICO) has signed a shariah advisory agreement with Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) to strengthen and grow its core insurance business. The agreement aims at certifying and maintaining products, investments and insurance growth opportunities that are shariah-compliant for 2019 and beyond.  

UAE: New reinsurance regulations stipulate retakaful requirements

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) has set out instructions stating the conditions under which a reinsurer has the right to accept retakaful business.