Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Qatar Insurance Report 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/28/2013 -- Key Insights And Key Risks
Once again, this Annual Report on Qatar's insurance sector highlights strengths and weaknesses. In contrast to most of its peers elsewhere in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it is not fragmented. The five indigenous insurance companies (of which two are constituted as Takaful operators) are reasonably substantial by regional standards: indeed, Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) is the largest indigenous insurer in the GCC by some metrics. All are financially strong, highly rated and enjoy strong links to the Qatar government and the local establishment. All serve a variety of personal and corporate clients across numerous lines (although only the Takaful operators are composite insurers). The authorities have overcome the challenges associated with the vagueness of the regulatory environment in which these companies operate. Many international insurance companies (and other financial institutions) take advantage of the regulatory regime of the Qatar Financial Centre: this permits them to offer their services both within Qatar itself and elsewhere. Although data is scant, it is reasonable to suggest that the international life companies that are operating in the country - Zurich International Life and MetLife Alico are benefiting from the growing number and wealth of expatriates in Qatar's booming economy.
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However, for all their advantages, the local insurance companies are not flourishing. Most achieved single digit growth in gross written premiums (our preferred performance metric) in H112 and the first three quarters of 2012. Although the details vary from company to company, problems include at least some of stagnant or falling net earned premiums, falling underwriting profits, falling or stagnant investment earnings and slipping net profits relative to the previous corresponding periods. The implication is that a fairly benign economic, regulatory and business environment is not really producing very strong growth by most metrics. BMI's forecasts for the development of the insurance sector over the next five years are reasonably upbeat: nevertheless, we still expect that non-life penetration (premiums as a percentage of GDP) will be well below all-time highs in 2017.
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