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Jun 2020


MENA: Historic opportunity to develop the Arab sector - GAIF

The COVID-19 pandemic has created fundamental changes in how insurers operate, revealing the sector’s agility in adapting to the new market reality, said General Arab Insurance Federation (GAIF) secretary general Chakib Abouzaid. He called on the region’s players to invest further in technology as a response to the changing operating environment.

Pana Harrison and Mitsui partnership signals opportunities for reinsurers in MENA and Asia

General (re)insurance broker Pana Harrison (Asia) said the Monetary Authority of Singapore has approved Mitsui & Co’s investment in the firm. Mitsui is effectively an equity shareholder of Pana Harrison on completion of the transaction.

Egypt: Motor insurers optimistic as govt resumes licensing of new cars

The government’s move to resume the licensing of new cars will help revive the motor insurance sector, said a number of insurance experts.

Egypt: Reinsurance rates expected to increase

The insurance sector is expecting an increase in reinsurance premium rates in the forthcoming 1 July renewal season.

Kuwait: Gulf Insurance Group invests in financial comparison platform, a leading finance comparison website in the region, has raised $4.25m of fresh capital from Kuwait-listed Gulf Insurance Group (gig).

Lebanon: Aggregate premiums down by 5% to $1.6bn in 2019

Morocco: Sector sees 13% fall in premiums in March

Premiums generated by the insurance industry in Morocco reached MAD3.08bn ($312.2m) in March 2020, down 13% compared to March 2019, according to data published by Supervisory Authority of Insurance and Social Welfare (ACAPS). The industry’s performance was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Morocco: Insurers to offer motor premium discounts exceeding $50m in total

The Moroccan Federation of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (FMSAR) has announced that insurers will offer discounts that can reach 30% of premiums on annual motor TPL policies as well as additional coverage for two months of a coronavirus lockdown.

Oman: Reinsurer's 1Q financial performance exceeds expectations

Oman Re’s net profit increased by 153% to OMR298k ($775k) for 1Q2020 compared to OMR118k for 1Q2019, said the reinsurer in a statement.

Qatar: QIC issues notes raising $300m

Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) has announced the successful issuance of $300m perpetual non-call 5.5 year subordinated Tier 2 capital notes despite the prevailing financial market turbulence across the globe.

Saudi Arabia: SAMA issues bancassurance rules

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has issued a set of regulations governing bancassurance activities in the kingdom. The move is part of SAMA’s aspirations and efforts to develop the financial services environment, and align it with the latest technical developments in the insurance industry around the world.

Saudi Arabia: COVID-19 to accelerate insurance mergers

The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis will accelerate the ongoing M&A discussions in the Saudi insurance sector, said Mr Adel Al Eisa, media spokesman for insurers at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

UAE: Regulators act jointly to stress use of FinTech to prevent money laundering

UAE regulators have asked financial institutions (FIs) and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs) to utilise reliable technology and FinTech tools to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) rules and combat the financing of terrorism (CFT).

UAE: Insurance Authority sets up crisis and emergency management chamber

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) has created a Chamber for Crisis and Emergency Management for the insurance sector to ensure coordination of national efforts during emergencies, crises and disasters in accordance with the national plans for response and recovery.

UAE: Telemedicine consulting expected to cut health insurance claims

Telemedicine consulting has become more widespread in the current COVID-19 pandemic, and its usage is expected to increase even after the end of the pandemic. The online medical consultations would help reduce health insurance claim amounts.

UAE: IA mulls new stimulus package

The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) is considering to launch a new stimulus package as part of a series of measures to support the insurance sector amid the COVID-19 crisis.

UAE: Daman and healthcare providers form alliance to fight COVID-19

The National Health Insurance Company – Daman has joined the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi (DoH), the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, Etihad Airways and other public and private healthcare providers to combine efforts with Plug and Play ADGM to form the ‘Alliance to fight COVID-19’ (AFC-19). Together they hope to bring some of the best startups from across the globe to collaborate in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic across the region.

UAE workers stay productive during work-from-home

The rise in home working driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has not significantly affected staff productivity in the UAE, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.


Global insurance to see no profits until 2021

The insurance sector will not be seeing technical profits until the second half of 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by Fitch Ratings. 

FERMA task force to find solution for non-damage BI cover

The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has set up a taskforce to create proposals to address the issue of business interruption (BI) coverage for catastrophic risks.

Pandemic shows need to update insurance products

General insurers need to reinvent their products in order to increase the sector’s economic relevance amid a new risk landscape. For instance, while fire traditionally has been the biggest risk to property, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that non-physical risks present an immediate threat to properties as well.


Malaysia: IFRS 17 delay a boost for takaful sector

The postponement of IFRS 17 is a relief for Malaysia’s 11 takaful operators in the market considering that the basis for implementation for takaful has yet to be fully ironed out.

Malaysia: Takaful sector expected to recover gradually by year-end from COVID-19 impact

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the takaful sector is viewed as severe but temporary, and the Islamic insurance market would gradually recover by year-end, said RAM Ratings Services.

Morocco: Decree passed to implement takaful law

The Council of Government has adopted a draft decree implementing the provisions of the Insurance Code that would allow the government authority responsible for finance to determine certain provisions concerning takaful.

Oman: Takaful outpaces conventional insurance in 2019

Takaful business in Oman soared by 20% to about OMR64m ($166m) in contributions in 2019, compared to 2018. The figure represents a 13.2% share of the total insurance portfolio.

Turkey: New takaful company established

A new Islamic insurance company called Bereket Takaful has been established in Turkey.

UAE: Watania distributes dividends for second year in a row

Shareholders of National Takaful Company (Watania) have approved at the recent company’s annual general meeting the distribution of dividends for the second year in a row.