Business Insurance

Takaful insurer gets approval for majority stake sale

Egypt’s regulators have approved the sale of 75% of Tokio Marine Egypt Family Takaful Co. for nearly 85 million Egyptian pounds ($5.4 million). Hermes Finance Group and GB Capital will each buy 37.5% of the takaful insurer. Mr Reda Abdel Moaty, FRA vice chairman, said that Cabinet approval is required under the law for investments in Egyptian insurance companies exceeding 10% of the issued shares.

Sharia-compliant equine coverage launched at Lloyd's

XL Group P.L.C. and London-based managing general agency Cobalt Underwriting Services Ltd. have launched a Sharia-compliant equine coverage. The policy, which is sold through Lloyd's of London, covers named perils, mortality, theft, infertility and permanent disability. No further information on the policy limits or premiums was given.


U.A.E.: Number of takaful insurers increases to 10

The insurance regulator of the United Arab Emirates has said that the number of takaful insurers in the region has increased to 10. The combined premium volume totaled about 2.8 billion U.A.E. dirhams ($762.3 million). The regulator said that it will hold meetings to discuss strategies for the development of Islamic insurance industry in the U.A.E. market.

Oman's Islamic insurance law in final stages of completion: Official

Sheikh Abdullah Salem Al Salmi, executive president of the Capital Market Authority of Oman, said the Islamic insurance law is in the last stages of completion.

U.K.: Willis to offer sharia-compliant commercial real estate coverage

Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. is set to offer sharia-compliant commercial real estate coverage in the United Kingdom. The coverage will be offered through the Islamic insurance platform developed by Cobalt Underwriting Services Ltd. The policy retains price neutrality, meaning premiums are equivalent to those in a conventional insurance policy. In March, Cobalt Underwriting added QBE Insurance Ltd.'s European division to its platform.

Malaysia: Islamic insurance sector likely to see some consolidation

Analysts expect to see some consolidation in Malaysia's takaful sector as a result of the Financial Services Act and the Islamic Financial Services Act. Under the new rules, composite insurers and takaful players are required to operate their life and nonlife units under separate licenses and have until 2018 to meet the requirement. Industry observers said that those affected should start looking for mergers and acquisitions instead of waiting for four more years to split their businesses.

Morocco: Bill for introduction of takaful submitted

Morocco's finance ministry has submitted a bill to the General Secretariat that will introduce takaful in the country.
A ministry official said the bill will enable the formation of takaful firms as separate entities instead of being units of insurers. If all processes move ahead as planned, takaful could be introduced in Morocco by the end of 2014.

Nigeria: Insurance regulator issues takaful guidelines

The National Insurance Commission has released takaful guidelines which state that applicants seeking permits to conduct takaful transactions must own the certificate of registration as a fully-fledged takaful company. The guidelines also state that the company's name must contain words or terminologies that imply takaful operations. In addition, companies must at all times keep a minimum deposit in a non-interest financial institution.

MENA: Conventional operators prove tough competition to takaful operators

Conventional insurers are proving to be tough competitors for major takaful operators given their big capacity, according to Nassib Barbir, deputy director of Takaful Re Ltd. Takaful operators must keep to Islamic roots and invest in research and development to create true takaful products instead of competing with conventional insurers, Ghassan Marrouche, CEO of Takaful Emarat – Insurance (P.S.C), said. Strong and credible retakaful operators are needed to assist the growth and expansion of takaful. Consistent Shariah compliance is a must for the industry to grow and mature.

Kenya's Takaful Insurance plans East Africa expansion

Kenya-based Takaful Insurance of Africa Ltd. plans to expand into five East African countries, including Tanzania, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia and the self-declared sovereign state Somaliland, as part of the insurer's plans for the 2013-2017 period, CEO Hassan Bashir said.

Malaysian takaful firms seen investing little abroad

The Malaysian government is encouraging takaful operators to invest abroad in order to internationalise its Islamic finance industry. Takaful operators will be allowed to invest abroad without limit, lifting a requirement for them to hold at least 80 percent of assets locally. However, Takaful firms in the country are usually reluctant to invest abroad due to a low risk appetite and lack of expertise. Furthermore, the domestic focus is partly due to ample supplies of sukuk in Malaysia. Another obstacle to internationalisation is the meagre experience of some Malaysian takaful firms. Dependence on local assets, however, has come at a price, with many takaful firms missing their target returns.

ICIEC and NEXIM enter agreement to promote Nigeria's exports

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit has entered into an agreement with Nigerian Export-Import Bank for promoting Nigeria's exports. The ICIEC will provide credit insurance and reinsurance support to NEXIM. NEXIM insurance underwriters would be provided training after which joint promotion would be undertaken in the Nigerian market, Dr. Abdel Rahman Taha, ICIEC's chief executive officer said.

Bahrain to introduce new rules for takaful industry in 2013

In order to to improve the operational model of the entire takaful industry, the Central Bank of Bahrain is set to issue new enhanced draft rules. Thus, it will also be able to make the country a preferred choice for all takaful and retakaful. The new rules are part of solvency (Phase II), and are related to corporate governance and actuarial reporting requirements. With the introduction of these rules in 2013, the central bank aims to accelerate growth of the country’s takaful industry while protecting the interest of all industry participants.

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