Overcoming the Profitability Challenge Vital for
Middle East Takaful Operators
The Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012) to feature critical discussions that will seek to tackle the profitability challenge for Shari’ah-compliant insurance operators in the region.
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain: 02 October 2012: The global Takaful industry has been experiencing double digit growth rates with the GCC and Malaysia being the major contributors. Although the GCC market remains at the top in terms of overall contributions, latest industry data reveals a deceleration in the growth rates.
Held under the theme “Tackling the Profitability Challenge: Fresh Thinking for Islamic and Cooperative Insurance in the Middle East”, the Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012), scheduled to be held on the 17th and 18th of October 2012 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, is set to gather over 200 high-level decision-makers from the regional insurance industry for discussions that will seek to overcome the key challenges facing Middle East Takaful operators and create the conditions to achieve sound and sustainable underwriting profitability.
Speaking ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the Middle East Takaful Forum, noted that “Though recent reports indicate that Takaful contributions in the GCC region continue to grow at exciting rates, the question is how many of the Takaful operators in the region will be able to sustain long term profitability as the rate of Takaful growth slows in the region? The Ernst & Young World Takaful Report 2012 noted that in 2010 Takaful growth in the GCC slowed to 16%, from a CAGR of 41% achieved during 2005–2009.”
“However the Report also noted that the share of Islamic finance in the GCC is about 25% whereas the Takaful market share is only 15%. This indicates that the Takaful industry has at least 10% of the known Shari’ah inclined market that it has not yet tapped”, he added.
The Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012) will be officially inaugurated on the 17th of October in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a special inaugural address by Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker, Executive Director – Financial Institutions Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain.
Commenting on his participation at the event, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Baker said that “a critical factor that will determine the success in taking the industry to the next level of development is the existence of players with the right quality and calibre, as well their readiness in terms of capacity and capability to formulate and execute successful strategies in response to new market opportunities. To achieve this, it is essential that key players in the industry remain profitable in the long run and the current market situations makes it even more challenging for Takaful operators to maintain momentum while boosting profitability. This calls for taking proactive steps and rethinking strategies to overcome diverse challenges in order to sustain growth momentum and I hope that the discussions at METF 2012 will seek to address the critical issues that the industry is currently facing and provide fresh perspectives on how to overcome these challenges.”
A key highlight of METF 2012 will be the exclusive industry leaders’ keynote power debate. The session chaired by Ashar Nazim, Islamic Financial Services Leader, Ernst & Young and featuring Peter van den Broeke, Principal Administrator, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS); Dato’ Haji Syed Moheeb Kamarulzaman; Former President / Chief Executive Officer and Director, Takaful Ikhlas; Former Chairman, Malaysian Takaful Association; and Chakib Abouzaid, Chief Executive Officer, Takaful Re Limited will tackle critical discussions focusing on overcoming the profitability challenge for Middle East Takaful operators and develop a roadmap for achieving sustainable underwriting profits.
Confirming his participation at the event, Peter van den Broeke, Principal Administrator of International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) noted that “the International Association of Insurance Supervisors – IAIS – is very much interested in the developments concerning Takaful. Promotion of Takaful could contribute to the development of fair, safe and stable insurance markets for the benefit of policyholders. Also, the emergence of micro-Takaful is important from a perspective of financial inclusion and reduction of poverty in the world. Of major interest to the IAIS is that Takaful is well understood by insurance supervisors and is regulated consistent with international principles, notably the IAIS Insurance Core Principles, without affecting its unique features. I am delighted to participate in the Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012) and I look forward to this important gathering of key industry leaders.”