A.M. Best

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of #Qatar Islamic #Insurance Company Q.S.C.

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” of Qatar Islamic Insurance Company (QIIC). The outlook of these Credit Ratings is stable. QIIC adopts a hybrid takaful model, whereby the shareholders’ fund (SHF) charges the policyholders’ fund (PHF) a Wakala fee based on gross written contributions (GWC) and a Muderaba fee based on investment income. QIIC has a track record of strong operating and technical profitability, highlighted by a five-year average combined ratio of 79% that has remained very stable over recent years. Although the company is concentrated to its domestic market of Qatar, the company maintains a niche market position as an established provider of Shari’a compliant products.

#Retakaful sector remains embattled playground for Islamic finance

According to insurance rating firm A.M. Best, retakaful is faced with a challenging environment in a highly competitive reinsurance market. The analysts took a close look at the global retakaful market and found that new companies entered the market, but their success has been limited. Mahesh Mistry, senior director of analytics at A.M. Best, says that companies have limited access to quality business, predominantly resulting from the underperformance of the primary takaful sector. Current leading players in the retakaful market are Malaysia’s ACR Retakaful and Malaysian Reinsurance, Emirates Retakaful, Saudi Reinsurance Company, Dubai’s Takaful Re Limited and Tunisia’s BEST Re, as well as Islamic windows of conventional insurers. It is estimated that the entire business volume does not exceed $1bn in gross written premiums, while the global reinsurance market was valued at close to $600bn at the end of last year. The standalone retakaful model may be under threat over the long term, unless it is repositioned to add additional value to the reinsurance market

Qatar tops Middle East in penetration of Islamic insurance

The Islamic insurance penetration in Qatar far exceeded that in the Middle East, where lack of differentiation and associated pricing pressure, along with poor distribution networks, are key challenges for the takaful companies, though the region made the early moves to establish Islamic insurance, according to A M Best. The overall penetration figures for the Middle East mask underlying differences between various countries in the region with Bahrain and Qatar both enjoying good takaful penetration rates of 22% and 13%, respectively compared to the Middle Eastern average of 8% in 2014, A M Best said in a report ‘Takaful Life and Nonlife Issue Review’.

Abu Dhabi National Takaful Co. receives favorable financial rating

A.M. Best this week moved Abu Dhabi National Takaful Co. (ADNTC) from stable to positive with a financial strength rating of B++. ADNTC’s solid risk adjusted capitalization and track record of excellent underwriting processes are reflected in the new ratings. These positive factors were partially offset by an accumulated deficit within the policyholders’ fund and a modest, albeit growing, business profile. The revised outlook reflects ADNTC’s improved balance of earnings between policyholder and shareholder funds and enhanced enterprise risk management.

Global Takaful premium to reach $20 billion by 2017

The significant premium growth in the global takaful sector is expected to continue and reach $20 billion by 2017, with the majority of that increase coming from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, according to A M Best. A M Best said in its report that despite the rapid growth of takaful on a global basis, it has struggled to take hold in Middle East markets, other than Saudi Arabia, which are considered to be concentrated with a few large players dominating their respective markets. Moreover, a number of challenges remain, including market conditions that leave takaful operators subject to fierce pricing competition from more established insurers that benefit from brand awareness and more established distribution networks.

Takaful operators struggle with growth and profitability, finds A.M. Best report

The significant premium growth in the global takaful sector is expected to continue and reach USD 20 billion by 2017, with the majority of that increase originating from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, according to a new A.M. Best special report. The Best’s Special Report, titled “Takaful Operators Struggle with Growth and Profitability,” also notes that despite the rapid growth of takaful on a global basis, it has struggled to take hold in Middle East markets, other than Saudi Arabia, which are considered to be concentrated with a few large players dominating their respective markets. To access a copy of this special report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=235591.

A.M. Best Special Report: GCC Takaful Regulation Lags Market Growth, Creating Uneven Playing Field

According to a new report from A.M. Best Co. the development of Takaful regulation varies significantly between the countries of the GCC. As a result, the levels of policyholder protection differ from one state to another, which has created opportunities for Takaful operators to pursue regulatory arbitrage. A.M. Best believes the solution is a more consistent application of regulation, and therefore provide sufficient policyholder protection.

A.M. Best Withdraws Ratings of Islamic Arab Insurance Co. (Salama)

A.M. Best Europe – Rating Services Limited has downgraded the financial strength rating of Islamic Arab Insurance Co. (Salama). This is due to the uncertainty regarding Salama’s main subsidiary, BEST RE Limited (Malaysia), and the potential implications for Salama’s capitalisation, operating performance and profile. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings as Salama has requested to no longer participate in their rating process.

Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company’s ratings reaffirmed

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company’s financial strength rating and credit rating were reaffirmed by A.M. Best’s rating agency and Standard & Poor’s rating agency as A and A-, respectively. Thus, ADNIC is placed among an elite group of financial services institutions to have their financial rating maintained in the A category across the Middle East and North Africa region.

ReTakaful firms struggling to meet original plans

Ratings agency A.M. Best stated that reTakaful companies are having problems keeping to their original business plans. It seems taht the Takaful market has not grown as quickly as expected and Takaful operators have found themselves having to battle with the large conventional insurers on price.
The Takaful firms were using conventional reinsurers, otherwise like specialist reTakaful firms, in order to keep their costs low, as the conventional reinsurers offered the cheapest protection.

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