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Jun 2021



MENA: COVID-19 amplifies structural challenges facing the region's reinsurers

Reinsurers in the MENA region are facing multiple threats to their credit profile, with the coronavirus pandemic magnifying some of the pre-existing macro-economic and sector-related pressures in the region, said Fitch Ratings.

Middle East: Total assets of top 5 insurers in the region jump by 7% in 2020

The total assets of the five largest listed insurance companies in the Arab region increased by 7% in 2020 to reach $26.2bn, compared to $24.5bn in 2019, according to a Forbes Middle East report.

Middle East: Zurich partners with Amazon Payment Services to launch digital payments for customers

Amazon Payment Services (APS), a payment processing services provider in the MENA region, has partnered with Zurich International Life to offer digital payments for its customers in the Middle East through the utilisation of the life insurer’s digital customer onboarding platform ZurichPro.

Africa: Santam to take full control of engineering underwriter

South Africa’s largest non-life insurer Santam is increasing its stake in Mirabilis Engineering Underwriting Managers by acquiring the remaining 45% stake in the latter that it did not already own.

Bahrain: BKIC net profit up 11.2% in 1Q

Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company (BKIC) has reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of BHD0.950m ($2.5m) for the first three months in 2021, up 11.2% from the same period last year, mainly due to the significant improvement in underwriting as well as some improvement in the net investment income.

Egypt: General Healthcare Authority and Ibnsina Pharma ink digitalisation cooperation protocol

The General Authority for Healthcare (GAH) has signed a cooperation protocol with Ibnsina Pharma who will provide the GAH with support for its plans to digitalise its health services.

Egypt: Misr Life launches investment fund with Misr Capital

Misr Life Insurance Company - one of the Misr Holding Company’s subsidiaries - and Misr Capital - the investment arm of Banque Misr - have launched an investment fund with an initial amount of EGP100m ($6.4m) that will focus on liquid financial instruments.

Morocco: Life insurance expected to become more important as a savings vehicle

Savings in Morocco are forecast to shift increasingly towards life insurance and securities, with the focus away from bank deposits.

Morocco: South African giant buys additional stake in Saham

South Africa’s largest insurer, the Sanlam Group, has acquired a 22.8% stake in Saham Assurance for ZAR1.98bn ($141m).

Qatar: QIC turns to profit in 1Q2021

Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) has posted a consolidated net profit of QAR204.79m ($56.3m) for the first quarter of 2021 as compared to a loss of QAR186.41m in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

Tunisia: Maghrebia posts record profit for 2020

Newly listed Assurances Maghrebia has achieved a new record of TND18.7m ($6.9m) in net profit for the financial year ended 31 December 2020.

Turkey: Call made for umbrella insurance law

An umbrella insurance law is needed under the leadership of the Insurance and Private Pensions Regulation and Supervision Agency (SEDDK) that can formulate fast solutions specific to the Turkish market, according to speakers at a virtual forum organised on 28 April by the Turkish Association of Insurance Practitioners (STD).

UAE: ADNIC reports 9% jump in net profit to $36.4m for 1Q

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) has posted a net profit of AED133.6m ($36.4m) for the first quarter of this year, a 9% increase compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

UAE: Dubai Investments buys additional stake in National General Insurance

Dubai Investments Company, a leading UAE investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), has announced the execution of a direct deal, acquiring 21.53% shares of National General Insurance Company (NGI) from Emirates NBD Bank.


Price increases moderate in 1Q2021

Global commercial insurance prices increased 18% in the first quarter of 2021, according to a report issued by Marsh. It represents the slowest rate of increase since rates hardened in the fourth quarter of 2017 and comes on the back of year-on-year average increases of 22% in the fourth quarter and 20% in the third quarter of 2020.

Global InsurTech funding reaches all-time high in 1Q2021

InsurTech funding reached an all-time high raising $2.55bn across 146 deals in the first quarter of 2021, according to the global Quarterly InsurTech Briefing released by Willis Towers Watson in April.

S&P: Slow vaccination keeps emerging markets' recovery at risk

The economic recovery in emerging markets will remain highly vulnerable to pandemic-related setbacks, given the slow vaccine rollout, said S&P in its monthly emerging markets report.

Willis Towers Watson to sell some assets to ease merger concerns

Aon and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) have signed a definitive agreement to sell Willis Re and a set of WTW business units to Arthur J. Gallagher & Co (Gallagher). These businesses will be divested for a total consideration of $3.57bn.


Egypt: Egyptian Takaful aims to achieve EGP1bn contributions

Gross written contributions for Egyptian Takaful Insurance Co (property) reached EGP790m ($61.87m) by the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year 2020-2021, which concludes at the end of June. Paid claims for the same period reached EGP372m.

Malaysia: Takaful grows faster than conventional insurance in Labuan in 2020

Takaful and retakaful gross contributions at Malaysia’s Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) grew by more than 13% last year.

Saudi: Insurance market grows by 2.3% in 2020

Gross written premiums for the Saudi insurance market reached SAR38.78bn ($10.3bn) in 2020, a 2.3% increase over the preceding year, according to the annual report issued by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

Saudi: A pool for compulsory travel insurance

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has approved the establishment of a pool to cover the compulsory travel insurance risks for citizens travelling abroad. The compulsory travel policy covers risks of COVID-19.

Saudi: Saudi Re posts 90% increase in profit for 1Q2021

Net profit before zakat for Saudi Re increased 90% to SAR19.58m ($5.22m) in the first three months of 2021 compared to SAR10.3m in the previous corresponding period.

UAE: Watania 1Q net profit grows by 74%

Net profit of UAE’s National Takaful Company (Watania) grew 74% y-o-y to AED3.9m ($1.06m) at the end of the first quarter this year.

UAE: Salama posts highest 1Q profit since 2011

Islamic Arab Insurance Co (Salama) has reported a 84.4% increase in net profit to AED24.22m ($6.6m) in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, gross written contributions for the period fell 3.6% to AED427.6m from AED441m in the first quarter of 2020.

Tunisia: Zitouna achieves 56% jump in profits in 2020 despite COVID-19

Zitouna Takaful has generated more than TND5m in profits ($1.85m) in 2020, compared to TND3.5m in the preceding year. In 2020, wakala commissions amounted to TND14.8m (2019: TND13m), while mudharaba commissions stood at TND1.7m (2019: TND1.2m).