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Market Report, "Bahrain Insurance Report Q4 2012", Published

New Financial Services research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/29/2012 -- The Bahrain Insurance Report considers the prospects for life and non-life insurers in the country. The latest results and comments indicate that 2011 was a highly challenging, but not universally disastrous, year for Bahrain's insurance sector. We calculate that premiums in the non-life segment contracted. This was partly the result of the Arab Spring in the first half of last year. It was also the consequence of a lacklustre economic environment (and the slump in the real estate and construction sectors). Further, price competition in what is, by any standard, a small and fragmented segment has been fairly intense. If this were not enough, some companies experienced increased claims because of damage relating to the unrest or other problems. Reports published by Bahrain National Holdings and other local operators suggest the problems persisted through to H112.

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Nevertheless, there are grounds for optimism. The government of Bahrain and its institutions have long been proponents of Islamic finance and takaful. The reports from the leading takaful (and retakaful) players suggest this part of the market has been growing reasonably quickly. The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has also shown itself to be a first-class regulator and agency for the general promotion and development of financial services.

If takaful is one part of the market that is still growing, life insurance is another. Media reports and other (admittedly quite scant) data suggest to us that premiums have been rising. However, this growth has been concentrated in particular companies: several of the local life companies have suffered a contraction in their business. The companies that are expanding their life businesses in Bahrain are doing so as a result of bancassurance deals and product innovation. Both major segments can benefit from growing demand for insurance among the country's population of Indian expatriates.

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