News Middle East07 Jul 2019

MENA:Cloudy outlook for life market in the region

| 07 Jul 2019

Premium growth in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) life insurance market remained weak in 2018, amid still challenging economic conditions and a competitive environment, says Swiss Re Institute in its latest World Insurance report released last week.

In the Middle East, weak economic growth and a shrinking expat population led to slower premium growth in the UAE (4.3%), the largest market, and a decline in Saudi Arabia (?2.0%).

With a weak economic environment in the region, the outlook for insurance markets looks clouded. The weak outlook applies particularly to the oil exporting markets.

The data show that life insurance remains a small proportion of total business in several markets.

The table below shows the performance of the largest life markets in MENA and their world rankings:

World Country Premium Premium Change % 2018 Share
Ranking   2018 $ m 2017 $ m Nominal Inflation of total
          adjusted business %
40 UAE 2,854 2,656 7.5 4.3 22.9
44 Morocco 2,147 1,752 22.5 16.5 46.9
51 Turkey 1,417 1,855 -23.6 -13.2 13.6
53 Iran 1,010 1,258 -19.7 -10.1 13.1
58 Egypt 677 687 -1.4 -2.4 42.9
62 Lebanon 524 498 5.4 -0.6 32.7
71 Saudi Arabia 306 304 0.5 -2.0 3.2
80 Tunisia 186 183 1.6 NA 21.4
81 Kuwait 163 145 12.1 10.7 12.4
82 Oman 156 146 6.9 5.9 14.0
84 Bahrain 142 139 1.5 -0.6 19.6
85 Jordan 120 112 7.1 2.4 13.4
86 Algeria 105 123 -14.6 -14.2 8.8
  World 2,820,175 2,724,017 3.5 0.2 54.3
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