Tap ‘takaful opportunities’

DUBAI - Maintaining growth with profitability remains key challenge for global Takaful industry, according to speakers at the 7th Annual World Takaful Conference in Dubai on Monday.

By Abdul Basit

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Published: Tue 17 Apr 2012, 10:10 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:17 AM

The conference was attended by more than 350 international decision-makers from over 150 organisations for discussions that focused on improving the competitive performance of the global Takaful industry and managing the essential shift towards sound underwriting profitability.

The two-day event was inaugurated with a special keynote address by Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, chief executive officer of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, who focused on new growth horizons for the international Takaful market.

“As a global financial hub, it’s critical that we promote Islamic finance, and continue our efforts in creating an environment which eases the development and integration of Sharia-compliant products into global financial markets. Currently, nine per cent of our regulated firms endorse Islamic business models. There are tremendous growth opportunities yet to be fully tapped, and such conferences raise awareness of the importance of insurance and Takaful, and are vital to growing this sector,” Al Awar said in his inaugural address.

The inaugural keynote address was immediately followed by a special opening keynote plenary session. The session featured insights covering the industry across the Middle East and Asia from well known industry specialists.

“With the Takaful segment expected to continue growing by leaps and bounds, the future of the industry looks very bright and promising. In order to ensure that the industry maintains its growth levels, it is essential to raise the level of awareness on the significant benefits of using Takaful products and services. It is also vital that collective efforts should be made to strengthen underwriting capabilities. In addition to this the industry players should also tap into newer markets and industry verticals and should also act upon the downward price pressure that is brought about by increased market competition,” Hussein Al Meeza, managing director and chief executive officer, Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Company (AMAN), said.

David McLean, chief executive of the World Takaful Conference said: “Takaful operators are yet to fully achieve critical business volumes despite having incurred substantial establishment costs. Increasing competition from not only new Takaful players but also well established global conventional insurers entering the Takaful market space, is putting immense pressure on the profitability of many existing players. However, with the Takaful industry being currently concentrated only in limited markets, segments and business lines, there is huge potential that is yet to be realised.” The World Takaful Exhibition, which was held along the sidelines of the conference, showcased the latest products, services and innovations from over 30 exhibitors.

Dr. Saleh Malaikah; Chairman, Rusd International Holding Group; vice-chairman and chief executive officer, Salama Group said: “With an expanding global footprint, the Takaful industry is well placed to further capitalise on the industry’s tremendous growth potential. However in order to ensure that we sustain the impressive growth rate, which the Takaful industry has enjoyed over the last few years, it is essential to resolve certain critical issues which may hamper the industry’s long term growth.”

A similar view was expressed by Ghassan Marrouche, chief executive officer of Takaful Emarat – Insurance who said that in the next five years, global Takaful premiums are predicted to grow rapidly with Takaful companies aggressively expanding and providing innovative and value-added products and services.

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com



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