GCC: Insurance outlook maintained at 'negative' - AM Best
Source: Middle East Insurance Review | May 2021
Global rating agency AM Best continues to hold a negative market segment outlook on the insurance markets of the GCC. Factors supporting the outlook include COVID-19-driven uncertainty and the risk that further oil price volatility will maintain economic pressure across the region.
In addition, there is concern over price adequacy amid intensely competitive conditions. Financial market fluctuations and depressed real estate valuations, as well as the expectation of liquidity pressures and increased delays in cash collection, also weigh on the outlook.
The report, titled ‘Market Segment Outlook: Gulf Cooperation Council Insurance’, noted these factors are partially offset by tightening regulatory oversight and control, and easing regional geopolitical tensions.
The report recognised that there are opportunities for market consolidation, with M&A activity on the rise, and noted that regional insurers’ generally well-capitalised balance sheets have proven resilient to shock scenarios.
However, with uncertainty set to persist through 2021, testing conditions will continue to leave carriers exposed to capital volatility and shrinking profit margins. M