Booming population

The Middle East is, in terms of population, one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, according to World Bank figures.

Of the three biggest insurance markets in the region by population growth, Qatar has seen its population double in five years. This is positive for the region, as much of this increase is made up of expatriates who require life and health products, as well as other personal lines products. Although Middle East life and non-life premium per capita is well behind developed nations, the growth rate for the Middle East is healthier, more than doubling in non-life in a 10-year period.

King of the frontiers

Latest available figures, left and above, show that Middle East total premium growth is lagging behind other emerging markets. But in terms of fastest-growing region, the Middle East follows closely behind Asia, which tops the list. Many market insiders believe that one reason for this is that the Middle East should still be classified as a ‘frontier’ market, since it is yet to hit key performance indicators of an emerging market.

To see a spread on population growth and the lates figures on total premium growth, click here.

Big movers

Traditional markets insurers have made impressive headway in the Middle East in the past decade, with some big names listing on the Saudi stock exchange. In March this year, health insurance provider Bupa’s share price rocketed after the insurer reported its net income for the fourth quarter of 2011. ACE’s share price showed strong and stable growth throughout the past year, only faltering slightly in May. Allianz’s share price remained steady, but AXA’s fluctuated in the third quarter of 2011.

To see a graph of the main insurers, click here.