Takaful / Insurance

Credit insurance: Al Hilal, Euler Hermes sign distribution deal

Al Hilal Takaful, the insurance subsidiary of Al Hilal Bank, signed a distribution agreement in Abu Dhabi with Euler Hermes, a trade credit insurance company. The collaboration is expected to position Al Hilal to deliver better credit insurance solutions, and secure a stronger position in the takaful market. It will also allow Euler Hermes to enhance its presence in Abu Dhabi. The partnership allows Al Hilal Bank’s Abu Dhabi customers access to a range of trade credit insurance solutions for business-to-business trade receivables offered by Euler Hermes.

AIA sees potential in family takaful

Life insurer AIA Bhd sees a huge growth opportunity in the family takaful business and investment-linked products in Malaysia, a market viewed by the industry as being relatively under-insured compared with its more developed neighbours. To tap into this growth opportunity, chief executive officer Bill Lisle said that the group, which is in the midst of completing its integration with ING Group’s domestic insurance operations, plans to employ more full-time agents and leverage on new technology. He added that the company would leverage on its Point of Sale (iPoS) technology driven by iPad.

Takaful in Qatar: What’s ahead?

Fast-paced economic growth in Qatar is supporting the takaful sector along with a keenness from policy makers to support the insurance market. At the same time, most of the mainstream takaful and retakaful companies in the region are currently undervalued compared to other sectors of the economy. Year 2015 continues to hold high hopes for takaful in Qatar and promises increased market penetration. However, sector executives appear not to be optimistic, with the Qatar Financial Centre’ Mena Insurance Barometer reporting that only 21% of participants expect the takaful segment to outgrow total insurance premiums in the next twelve months in 2015 same as in 2014, but compared with 32% in 2013.

The first Islamic Insurance Company Launched in Somalia

To address the Financial Investment challenges in Mogadishu, Takaful, the first Islamic insurance company of Somalia, was opened December last year in Mogadishu, Somalia, marking a shift to protect critical assets and assist regional business practice in Somalia, which has for a long time been prone to risks without cover. The Takaful company already has successful operations in Mogadishu markets across Southern Somalia. The First Takaful and Re-Takaful Insurance partnership has already launched two regional operations in Mogadishu for the last three months.

Indonesia Shariah Insurance Growth Attracts AIG

Indonesia’s Islamic insurance industry is expanding three times as fast as Malaysia’s, prompting American International Group Inc. and Sun Life Financial Inc. to seek a broader presence in the nation. AIG is considering offering retakaful in Indonesia in two years. The initiative would complement an Islamic insurance business it started in the Southeast Asian nation in 2010. Meanwhile, PT Sun Life Financial Indonesia will add to its 35 outlets in the country, while Reinsurer PT Reasuransi Internasional Indonesia plans to make all its branches fully Shariah-compliant. As Islamic insurance becomes more prominent, that should increase demand for Shariah-compliant bonds as insurers try to match liabilities with their investments.

FG Inaugurates Council for Islamic Insurance System in Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated an advisory council for the implementation of the Takaful insurance product in the country. he Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, who inaugurated the council in Abuja, stated that the move was part of the implementation of some of the reforms in the insurance sector. The minister said the inauguration was the result of the National Insurance Commission’s resolve to key into the National Financial Inclusion Strategy introduced by the Federal Government in 2012. The Chairman of the advisory body, Prof. Dawud Noibi, said the council would do all within its power to effectively discharge its mandate.

Qatar’s low insurance penetration is offering ‘great opportunities’

Qatar’s low insurance penetration is “a revealing factor” of great opportunities, Qatar Central Bank Governor HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani has said. The country’s current level of penetration is around 0.5% of GDP and 1.6% as share of the insurance as part of the global business sector, Sheikh Abdullah said in his keynote address at the ninth MultaQa conference. Asserting that it is the desire of Qatar to reduce reliance on energy, Sheikh Abdullah, who is also the chairman of the Qatar Financial Market Authority and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, said the country’s insurance sector has been undergoing significant evolution and is in the process of establishing a committee for supervision of risk management.

Shariah-compliant market sentiment improves

A study carried out by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority has found that the outlook for Takaful insurers improved over the past year, but many remain critical of the segment's future. Just 22 percent of respondents thought Takaful insurers would underperform the rest of the market, down from the 32 percent recorded in the prior year. But executives said that they felt Takaful offered no genuine differentiation and often did not live up to the concept.

Takaful transactions reach Dh2.3b

The UAE’s insurance market grew 12 per cent in 2014 to Dh33 billion, said Ibrahim Al Zaabi, director- general of the Insurance Authority. The number of companies providing these sharia-compliant services has reached 11. The director-general said that the investments made by 60 insurance companies reached to Dh40 billion in the year. He said that the Insurance Authority has issued new rules and regulations in order to organise Takaful insurance business. The rules organise the financial, technical, investment, and accounting functions of Takaful insurance companies aiming to protect the rights of stakeholders, from future risks, the minister said.

Malaysian insurance to stay on strong growth path

According to a report by the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM), the general insurance sector is set to record a 5.5 to 6 per cent increase in gross written premiums in 2015. The weaker local currency should help boost domestic consumption, despite global economic headwinds as revenues from oil and other commodities plummet. The government’s plans to maintain development spending should also promote growth, which in turn will see an increase in demand for insurance products. The new goods and services tax (GST) – to be introduced in April – is not expected to have a lasting impact on the sector, though it could slow growth over the next few months.

Takaful perceived as having significant potential in Tanzania.

A two days specialized Takaful workshop arranged for Insurance and risk management professionals by Al-Huda, Centre of Islamic Banking & Economics (CIBE) took place in Dar es Salaam. At the workshop, Mr. Paul J. Ngwembe, Director Legal Enforcement, of Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) disclosed that TIRA is at the final stage of drafting Takaful Regulations with a view to setting up a regulatory mechanism of Takaful in the country. He added that TIRA encourages all stake-holders to attend such workshops so as to acquire the requisite know-how of this system. Mr. Zubair Mughal, the Chief Executive Officer of Al-Huda CIBE said that AlHuda CIBE has a long term vision for the development of Islamic Banking and finance industry in Tanzania and other African countries.

Doga to launch Turkey's first Islamic insurance product

Turkey's Doga Group plans to enter the takaful market in the coming months with what would be the country's first such product. Its Doga Sigorta insurance unit is close to signing a cooperation deal with reassurance companies such as Swiss Re and others from the Gulf and Malaysia, the unit's Chairman Nihat Kirmizi said. Kirmizi said the Doga Group wanted to take advantage of the growing interest for Islamic finance products in the largely Muslim nation. The firm will be completely ready by May, and has received verbal permits from the Treasury. He added that at least three to four other firms planned to enter the takaful insurance market by 2018.

Nod for Takaful Insurance draft

Oman's State Council yesterday approved the draft Takaful Insurance Law referred to it by the Council of Ministers and the report which was prepared by Majlis Ash'shura and the State Council Economic Committee concerning that law. Out of 58 articles, 46 articles have been ratified in compliance with the views expressed by the government and the Majlis Ash'shura, although some articles were not agreed upon. The law ensures the formation of a non-conventional mechanism in the insurance system. It's expected to contribute significantly in stimulating the economy by attracting investors and encouraging consumers who are interested in Islamic insurance system.

Al Rajhi eyes 20% takaful contributions in 2015

Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp (Malaysia) Bhd, which has launched its first bancatakaful product offerings in collaboration with Great Eastern Takaful Bhd, is confident that takaful products will contribute 20% to its fee-based income for 2015 or RM15 million worth of contributions. Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia acting CEO Selamat Sirat said the collaboration marks the introduction of its first syariah compliant protection plan products, which are i-Great Raudhah and i-Great Bakti. Selamat added that it is looking at a 50% growth year-on-year for its fee-based income. It is also looking for the opportunity to expand the fee-based income business through its range of wealth management products.

New takaful model on way

A new takaful model is being implemented by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) this month onwards and is expected to attract new entrants to the market and foster competition. The objective of modifying the existing takaful rules is to facilitate a faster growth of the business in Bahrain while protecting the interest of all stakeholders, vis-ˆ-vis participants, shareholders and operator, CBB executive director for financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Al Baker said. The new CBB rules on client money aim at enhancing the regulatory framework in relation to appointed representatives and insurance brokers. Since their release in October last year, the market response has been quite positive, he added.

UAE Insurance Authority issues regulations to traditional and Takaful insurers

H. E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Insurance Authority, issued Decision No. (25) of 2014 Pertinent to Financial Regulations for Traditional Insurance Companies and Decision No. (26) of 2014 Pertinent to Financial Regulations for Takaful Insurance Companies, which regulate the financial, technical, investment, and accounting operations of Traditional and Takaful insurers operating in the UAE. Included in the regulations, an actuary is accredited for every insurance company operating in the UAE and there are new investment rules to protect the rights of policyholders and companies against risks.

Azurite Courtage lance le troisième contrat d’assurance vie Takaful en France

près Salam Epargne et Placement, de Swiss Life/Noorassur, et Amâne Exclusive Life, de Vitis Life, c’est au tour du courtier grossiste Azurite Courtage, basé à Vitrolles (Bouches-du-Rhône), de proposer un contrat d’assurance vie Takaful répondant aux principes de la charia. Intitulé Ethra’a Takaful Famille, il a été lancé au tout début du mois de janvier, en partenariat avec AtlanticLux, filiale luxembourgeoise du groupe allemand FWU AG. Erwin Marzolf, dirigeant de Azurite Courtage, s’est fixé pour objectif un millier de contrats d’ici la fin de l’année.

Bermuda’s Islamic insurance opportunity

Islamic finance offers an interesting alternative to the way the financial sector operates across much of the world. That was part of the message presented by Belaid Jheengoor, a Bermuda-based chartered accountant and asset management executive. He also noted there was still room for a jurisdiction, such as Bermuda, to emerge as an Islamic insurance and reinsurance leader. Today, the largest domestic markets for Islamic finance are Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. However, a number of non-Islamic countries and jurisdictions are building their presence in aspects of Islamic finance, said Mr Jheengoor. He added that the sector was experiencing double-digit growth.

Takaful operators must work together: Hong Leong

There will always be a need for takaful, however, takaful operators must work together to aggressively promote the product to the public, said Hong Leong MSIG Takaful Bhd. Chief Executive Officer Wan Mohd Fadzullah Wan Abdullah said it was imperative to educate the public that takaful was an all-weather financial planning tool. While the growth of takaful has been at a faster rate compared to conventional insurance, Wan Mohd Fadzullah said the volume was still low. Sri Lanka-based Amana Takaful Life Chief Executive Officer, Reyaz Jeffrey said one effective way of promoting takaful awareness, was through agency channels.

IIRA Reaffirms Fiduciary Ratings of Islamic Insurance Company

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has reaffirmed the Takaful Financial Strength (TFS) rating of The Islamic Insurance Company (TIIC) in Jordan at 'A' (Single A). Outlook on the assigned rating is 'Stable'. The fiduciary score has been reassessed in the range of '71-75', which indicates that protection factors are adequate. The assigned rating derives strength from TIIC 's franchise as a Shari'a compliant operator that builds on the reputation of its parent, Jordan Islamic Bank, and which forms part of the Al Baraka Banking Group. Established in 1996, the company has grown at a steady rate and presently commands a market share of about 4% in Jordan's overall insurance sector.

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