Doha: Qatar Insurance Group’s, the leading insurer in the MENA region, gross written premiums for the year have remained stable at QR12.20bn, compared to QR12.06bn for 2019. The Group yesterday announced its financial results for 2020.
Following a meeting of the Board of Directors, which was presided over by Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Attiya, Deputy Chairman, the Board approved the financial results for year 2020.
The year 2020 was one of the most challenging year for the global insurance industry. While QIC Group’s international business was impacted by global losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and from catastrophe losses, Mena insurance operations once again delivered an outstanding performance during the year. The COVID-19 pandemic enforced strict lockdown measures helped to maintain satisfactory performance, as motor and medical lines of business saw reduced claims activity.
QIC’s MENA direct operations reported Gross Written Premiums of QR2.3bn, compared to QR2.2bn in 2019. Our successful positioning as one of the most digitally transformed insurance company in the region in the personal line segment, witnessed major growth in the B2C and B2B channels of business during the pandemic, said the company in press release. Meanwhile Group’s international business continued its process of de-risking non profitable business and carefully allocating risk capacity from high severity, capital intensive risks to less volatile and lower severity lines of business.
The Gross Written Premiums for our international operations stood at QR9.9bn, as compared to QR9.8bn in 2019. Our international business now accounts for 81 percent of the Group’s total premium base, said the company in a press release.
Commenting on QIC Group’s financial performance for the year 2020, Khalifa Abdulla Turki Al Subaey (pictured), Group President of QIC Group said, “QIC Group benefits from its very strong and robust risk-based capital adequacy in combination with the scale and diversification of our business portfolio. We are encouraged by the resilience that QIC Group has demonstrated in these unprecedented times.”
“While consumers and businesses in major economies were in lockdown, we continued to generate strong organic growth originating from our online personal insurance business in the MENA region, a clear testimony to the strength and goodwill of the QIC brand and the trust and confidence customers place in the Group. The growth was further benefited from the hardening of commercial rates,” he said.
QIC Group’s net underwriting results for the year were directly impacted by the losses arising from the reported global market events of COVID-19 pandemic losses and abnormal catastrophe losses. The Group’s net underwriting result stood at a loss of QR595m, as compared to profit of QR282m in 2019. The Group also continued to follow its prudent reserve strengthening policy across international business.
On other hand, with exit of several key international insurer’s from the GCC region, Group’s direct business in Qatar and the MENA region continued to strongly consolidate its leading position by demonstrating consistent growth across select lines of business and delivering consistent and healthy underwriting profits.
In 2020, the investment team of QIC Group once again proved its mettle. Despite the exceptional volatility in global financial markets, QIC’s investment portfolio performed reasonably well.
For year 2020, the Group registered an investment and other income of QR1,366m, as compared to QR1,036m in 2019. On a year-to-year basis this reflects an annualized return on investment, excluding one-off gains, of 3.5 percent. In 2020, QIC was named for the third year in a row as “Top Investment House” by The Asset magazine, recognizing its superior asset management capabilities.
Epicure Investment Management Limited, QIC Group’s wholly owned investment management company is the largest investment manager in Qatar with investments assets in excess of $7bn (including external AUM’s) and is also one of the largest Investment Manager in GCC. Despite the ongoing global uncertainties of historic proportions, and as a testament of offering excellent security to policyholders, Group’s capital and liquidity position continue to be robust.
The Group continues to ensure that the appropriate risk adjusted levels of capital redundancy from a regulatory and S&P/AM Best rating point of view is maintained.
As part of the Group’s strategy to generate new channels of revenue, QIC Group entered into a strategic collaboration with Swiss Re, a leading global reinsurance company, to offer its inhouse-developed, best-in-class fully integrated, digitally transformed insurance IT platform called Anoud+ to third party insurers in developed and emerging markets alike.
QIC’s continued endeavour towards process efficiency and automation resulted in further improvement of its already exceptionally low administrative expense ratio for its core operations to 6.2 percent.
In total, the Group reported a consolidated net profit of QR126m for 2020 compared with QR671m for the previous year which resulted in Earnings Per Share of QR(0.004) per share (2019: QR0.174 per share).
The Board proposed the non-distribution of divided for the year 2020 taking into consideration the insignificant net profit achieved during the year.