Qatar Insurance to Launch Holding Firm for Overseas Operations

April 13, 2006

Qatar Insurance Company said it will soon launch Qatar Insurance International, a holding firm for its overseas operations.

Qatar Insurance International, a closed shareholding company, would be based at the Qatar Financial Centre, said QIC Group General Manager Khalifa A Al-Subaey.

He said Qatar Insurance International would own and look after QIC’s entire foreign assets and operations. Currently, QIC has full-fledged branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and a joint venture in Muscat – Oman Qatar Insurance Company. The overseas offices are significant for QIC as they derive a lot a business from energy, marine and motor insurance portfolios.

Al-Subaey indicated Qatar Insurance International could go public within two to three years. “Initially, however, it will be a closed shareholding firm,” he said.

The QIC Group general manager said Qatar Insurance would have its spotlight on enhancing overseas operations.

Qatar Insurance, he said, was entering Kuwait’s Islamic insurance segment by setting up an insurance firm in association with a local partner.

“We will be up and running, hopefully, by the year-end. Wherever we go we wish to wear the local tag. Hence the Kuwaiti partner,” al-Subaey explained. He said the recent upgrade in Standard and Poor’s rating of QIC had put the Doha-based insurer in the league of leading global insurance firms. Last month S & P raised QIC’s insurer credit standing to ‘A’ from ‘A-‘. The outlook is stable.

Al-Subaey said QIC was the first Middle East insurance company to get an interactive rating of ‘A’ with a stable outlook. While the rating marks a significant milestone in QIC’s development, the company is now going ahead with a strategy to increase operations in the international insurance and reinsurance segments.

The QIC Group general manager termed as “beautiful” its Q1 results which saw a 35% jump in its net profit to QR103.52mn. In the same period last year QIC had earned a net profit of QR76.58mn.

The net insurance income had seen an “impressive” 52% growth to QR49.7mn in Q1 compared to QR32.73mn in the same period last year. In the first three months of this year QIC’s investment income was up 17%, reaching QR73.06mn compared to QR62.61mn in the same period last year.

On the proposal to merge three major insurance companies in Qatar – Qatar Insurance, Doha Insurance and Al Khaleej Insurance, Al- Subaey said: “It is with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Consultants are studying the project dubbed Q3. We are waiting for the Ministry to come back to us”.

Source: Qatar Insurance Company

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