DWIC and MEASA

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Trust Re seeks return to rating as rebuild continues – Albaharna GAIF34 interview

Chief executive of Trust Re explains the reinsurer plans to restore it’s former rated A-rated status, putting an end to temporary fronting arrangements while its shareholding issue is resolved.

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BLOG: GAIF OMAN 2024

Daily news updates from GAIF OMAN 2024

Middle East region

Driving behaviours to increase climate risk resilience – SCOR at GAIF34

Reinsurance rates are being driven by increased claims and exposures, but the insurance industry has the data in its power to incentivise construction practices that will in turn reduce insureds’ exposure to climate change, and the prices paid for protection.

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Temperatures are rising and MENA’s protection gap leads the world – Swiss Re at GAIF34

2023 saw major earthquakes in Turkey and Morocco, severe thunderstorms and flooding in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, hailstorms in Jordan, a tropical cyclone in Oman, and a major flood in Libya.

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Construction boom to lead expected growth for Gallagher’s Dubai practice

Onshore and offshore construction, M&A and financial lines are the top priorities for the reinsurance broker’s Middle East hub, Nadim Semaan told GR at GAIF34.

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Abouzaid welcomes delegates to GAIF34 in Muscat

Secretary general of the General Arab Insurance Federation, kicked off the GAIF34 conference, which is back in Oman for the first time since 2002.

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Getting ready for GAIF in Oman and developing regional insurance talent

This year, the GAIF conference returns to Oman for the first time in more than two decades. Two of the country’s leading insurance figures sat down to talk with Global Reinsurance before the event begins in Muscat.

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Interview with GAIF’s Chakib Abouzaid: Is the Gulf region an awakening insurance giant?

It’s one thing to lead an insurance federation during a period of small, incremental change. But the role is different when the regional industry is undergoing a broad and deepening transformation.

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Rising political risk for emerging market manufacturing hubs - Verisk Maplecroft

Heightened political risks are overshadowing a ‘friendshoring’ shift, according to report data from Verisk Maplecroft.

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Optio expands MENA operation with senior Dubai appointment

New hire joins from Ardonagh Specialty as managing director of broking and general lines for Optio Re MENA in Dubai.

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MS Amlin launches financial lines for Middle East

Lloyd’s market re/insurer announces new business class for MENA region amid growth in M&A and IPO activity.

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Gulf Insurance Group says “business as usual” after shareholder change

Fairfax completes acquisition of KIPCO’s stake in the Middle East and North African insurer, giving it 90% ownership of the Kuwait City-based insurer.

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Howden addresses COP28 on the private sector’s role in protecting vulnerable countries

David Howden, founder and CEO of Howden, gave a keynote speech at the COP28 summit on the power of the private sector to protect vulnerable countries against the effects of climate change and unlock investment in their future.

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Expanding DIFC promoted as MGA hub for Middle East, Africa and South Asia access

MGAs represent 43% of DIFC’s insurance constituents, as of September, contributing $2.1bn of gross written premium.

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Chedid Re named reinsurance broker of the year by MEIR

Chedid Re was recognised as “Reinsurance Broker of the Year” at the Middle East Insurance Industry Awards 2023 held on November 16.

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DIFC on track for 20% re/insurance client growth

Gross written premiums in the first half of 2023 increased up 18% on the year before, reaching $1.2bn, with DIFC’s re/insurance client growth led by new MGA licences.

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AM Best publishes reports on MENA and Sub-Saharan African reinsurers

The rating agency reports that reinsurers across MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa report topline growth, despite persistent or heightened economic challenges.

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DWIC 2023: Caught out by the hard market

A DWIC roundtable on underwriting discussed the impact of hardening reinsurance rates and new technology

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DWIC 2023: Health insurance space fit and well

By Trevor Treharne

COVID-driven awareness, population shifts and technological enhancements keeping health insurance market optimistic

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DWIC 2023: Spotlight on skills and talent

By Helen Yates

On the back of the DIFC’s Talent Week, a panel of experts discussed the skills gap and how to close it

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DWIC 2023: Takaful must rebrand itself as the ethical choice for all

By Helen Yates

Collaboration between takaful providers is essential if the niche industry is to achieve its potential

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DWIC 2023: Insurers are 'on the frontline' in the climate crisis

By Helen Yates

The insurance industry must “drive the pathway to net zero”, explained Dame Susan Rice in a fireside chat

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DWIC 2023: ‘Force’ needed to spark industry climate action

By Trevor Treharne

As the consequences of climate change endure, further industry regulations will be required to halt its effects

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DIFC’s Alya Al Zarouni opens Dubai World Insurance Congress 2023

This year’s Congress is the largest event of its kind in the region, welcoming over 1,100 insurance leaders to the UAE

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‘Be part of climate conversation,’ DWIC 2023 delegates urged

With COP28 heading to the city in November, this year’s DWIC opened with a rallying cry for the industry to focus on the climate

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DWIC 2023: Plenty of cause for industry optimism

By Trevor Treharne

Despite choppy environmental, economic and geopolitical conditions, there are green shoots of opportunities for the industry

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DWIC 2023: Time for emerging markets to shine

By Helen Yates

A dearth of cheap and plentiful reinsurance capacity could force emerging insurance markets to mature more rapidly

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GCC markets retain stable outlook amid challenging headwinds

The rising cost of reinsurance, competitive pressures and growing impact of nat cat losses remain a challenge – AM Best

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GCC insurers benefit from strong premium growth

S&P expects a modest uptick in earnings if insurers continue to reprice underperforming business

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David Robinson appointed CEO of Optio Group

He was instrumental in establishing Optio Re MENA Ltd, which began trading February 2023

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Optio Re MENA commences trading

The specialty MGA is now open for business in MENA through its Dubai-based operation

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Sukoon syndicate-in-a-box gains DIFC approval

Led by Amey Masurkar, it will be the first SIAB to operate outside of London with the support of Lloyd’s DIFC

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Chedid Capital and IRM launch certificate in risk management

The course is aimed at insurance and reinsurance professionals across MEASA and has been ‘eagerly awaited’

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Volante opens shop in the DIFC

It will offer a combination of treaty and facultative reinsurance across multiple lines through Lloyd’s Syndicate 1699

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QIC Global adopts Antares name and brand

QIC Global is part of the QIC Group, which is the largest insurance company in the Middle East

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Optio establishes MGA and reinsurance broker in Dubai

Dr Ahmed Ramadan and Moayyad Abu Hayyeh join as CEO and CUO, A&H, from Besso Re

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Chedid Re names Elie Abi Rached global CEO

Joe Asmar has been named deputy CEO, whilst retaining his role as group head of facultative reinsurance

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ILS capacity will be essential for energy transition risks

Innovative risk transfer solutions will be needed for emerging technologies as energy markets transition, says Neil Eckert

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Gallagher Re & Africa Re partner to tackle Africa’s protection gap

Regional drought conditions and the global political environment call for prompt action around resilience and risk transfer solutions

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Aon Saudi Arabia appoints CEO

Samer AlFayez was previously chief executive officer of Elite Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers

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Chedid Re receives license to operate in Cairo

Egypt is a “strategic bridge” between Chedid’s African operations and its Middle East presence

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DWIC 2022: Why we’re still talking about it

By Helen Yates

The buzz at the conference in Dubai was palpable from the minute it opened on 9 March

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Gulf Business News: DIFC, Global Ethical Finance Initiative join hands to support COP28 agenda

DIFC and GEFI aim to drive change across the world’s financial industry relating to delivering net zero, unlocking Islamic finance, financing nature and biodiversity, and financing sustainable development goals

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DWIC2022: ​ESG: Rising to the challenge - Middle East potential

Insurers and brokers who undercut the environmental, social, and corporate governance standards (ESG) will face ‘catastrophic’ consequences, a roundtable on the topic heard.

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DWIC 2022: View from the top

The insurance industry is failing to react quickly enough to the fast-evolving digital world around it.

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DWIC 2022: Pandemic accelerates insurtech growth

By Helen Yates

The insurtech sector in the MENA region has enjoyed substantial growth over the past two years, in part driven by the global pandemic.

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DWIC 2022: Why prevention is better than cure

By Saxon East

It is time to take full advantage of the workplace transformation in health and wellbeing

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DWIC 2022: Is AI the next ‘silent cyber’?

By Helen Yates

Re/insurers are blissfully unaware of their growing exposure to AI-related liabilities, warned Simmons & Simmons

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DWIC 2022: SIAB offers region a “brilliant vehicle”

Oman Insurance gained approval to launch Syndicate 2880 last year on the Lloyd’s DIFC platform

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DWIC 2022: Why takaful needs an overhaul

By Helen Yates

Inherent issues with the Takaful model continue to hinder the market’s development in the GCC

Cyber resilience

DWIC 2022: Cyber re/insurers limit exposure to ransomware

By Helen Yates

Ransomware continues to shape the cyber risk landscape, explained DWIC roundtable panellists

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Gallagher launches fac business in the DIFC

Gallagher has taken a majority share of 51% of ACE Re Ltd (DIFC); Its team and clients will trade as Gallagher going forward

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Kay International AMEA expands its operations to US to serve Latin America & Caribbean region

Kay International AMEA LLC has initiated business activities from its new office in Miami, Florida, after receiving its regulatory approval from the Florida Department of Financial Services to operate as a Reinsurance Underwriting Agency and Reinsurance Intermediary.

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DIFC Insurance community expands with Gen Re establishing Middle East presence in the centre

Second insurer owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to expand its presence in the region; strengthens DIFC’s position as a centre of excellence for insurance and reinsurance locally and globally

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Leaders from World Alliance of International Financial Centers convene in Dubai for the first time at DIFC

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, commented: “DIFC is delighted to be hosting the World Alliance of International Financial Centers’ Annual General Meeting. It is the first time leaders from financial centers across the globe have chosen to convene in Dubai.

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Oman Insurance Company receives “in principle” approval for first Lloyd’s SIAB in the GCC

Andrew Woodward, regional head of Lloyd’s Dubai said: “We have enjoyed working closely with the OIC team to deliver this exceptional result and we are proud to have the first SIAB in this region.”

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Willis Re launches flood model for MENA region

Currently, the model covers Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with further releases for Oman, Qatar, and Egypt in the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

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UAE: Lloyd’s broker expands office

By Middle East Insurance Review

Tysers, a Lloyd’s broker, is expanding its presence in Dubai to meet the growing demand for insurance expertise in the Middle East.

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QIC Group net profit jumps 210% to QR205mn in Q1

Mena region’s leading insurer Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) reported robust results with a net profit of QR205mn for the first quarter of 2021 compared to a loss of QR186mn in Q1, 2020.

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Dubai’s DIFC records best performance in 2020, with fintech presence doubling

The Dubai International Financial Centre has just turned its best annual performance ever, with a 20 per cent increase in the number of licensed firms to total 2,919 companies.

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UAE’s Oman Insurance records its best net income in 5 years, at Dh196.5m

By Gulf News

For OIC, a focus on “risks having the right pricing” and “non-compromise” on cash collection paid off. Another gain was made on cost control, with general and admin expenses dropping Dh8 million to Dh282.8 million.

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QIC Group reports QR12.2bn gross written premiums in 2020

By The Peninsula

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.

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Pandemic’s second wave threatens to derail Dubai’s tourism surge

By Reuters

Dubai, one of the few destinations open to international travellers since July, has yet to impose the toughest restrictions after record daily infections in the UAE, in the hope that vaccinations will spare a repeat of last year’s lockdown.

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Special Report: Riding the Cycle

This special report, in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre, includes the highlights a roundtable debate hosted virtually by Global Reinsurance in October 2020 and the results of research conducted during September 2020.

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DIFC Signs Agreement with leading Israeli Bank - Bank Hapoalim

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has entered into an agreement with Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks.

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DIFC’s Innovation Hub to support Dubai’s Future Economic Growth

This comes at a time when the most successful organisations are expediting their innovation agendas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) has seen its gross written premiums grow by 4%

The leading insurer in the Middle East North African (MENA) region announced its financial results for the first nine months of this year, following a meeting presided over by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani, QIC chairman and managing director.

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AM Best’s Insurance Market Briefing - MENA to Examine Current Trends and Their Future Impact

AM Best’s annual Insurance Market Briefing - MENA will be held as a complimentary webinar on 3 November 2020, at 14:00 hours, Gulf Standard Time (GST), to discuss the (re)insurance markets of the region.

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Introduces D&O Liability and Professional Indemnity Policies in Dubai

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) today announced that it has finalized proprietary Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability and Professional Indemnity (PI) policy wordings for customers in the UAE and throughout the Middle East.

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Swiss Re: Re/insurance in the Middle East and Pakistan: annual outlook and review 2020

Coronavirus has transformed the outlook for the economies and insurance industry in the Middle East and Pakistan, with recession expected this year. We expect the economic recovery to start in mid-2021, although downside risks include a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, new government lockdown measures, lower-for-longer oil prices and a low ...

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Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) Group selects DIFC for Middle East expansion

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region has welcomed Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) Group. The business will operate as Africa Re Underwriting Agency Limited (Africa Re) and the DIFC presence is their first office outside Africa.

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DIFC FinTech Hive’s Accelerator programme to advance the role of women in financial services

DIFC FinTech Hive, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, revealed the 2020 launch of AccelerateHer, a female-focused career mentorship accelerator programme to empower women in financial services.

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Best’s Market Segment Report: MENA Reinsurers Strive to Adapt to Testing Conditions

Regional reinsurers operating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are no strangers to challenging operating conditions. In recent years, the region’s reinsurance market has been characterised by competitive pricing pressures, overcapacity and increased incidence of large losses.

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Monte Carlo RVS Industry Survey 2020: Riding the cycle - Have your say

This study will survey top decision-makers at the world’s leading international commercial re/insurers and brokers, to examine how global reinsurers are riding the cycle, the likely impact of COVID and other losses, how capital may seek to enter the industry and whether automation has been accelerated by lockdown restrictions.

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DIFC position as the region’s reinsurance sector hub reconfirmed

The sector grew by 17.4% in 2019, representing the highest volume of premiums ever written in the market, further reinforcing the Centre’s position as the leading reinsurance hub in the region.

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DWIC 2020: Post Event Report

Full coverage of the DWIC2020 Satellite Sessions

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DWIC interview: Andy Rogers, co-CEO, Amdaris

David Benyon, editor, Global Reinsurance speaks with Andy Rogers, co-CEO of Amdaris and Adrian Sutherland, CTO, Jumar about how technology is transforming (re)insurance.

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Innovation in Middle East markets – a little less conversation, a little more action

Insurers in Middle East markets talk about launching new products, but not enough innovation follows, JLT Re’s Russell Walters told GR

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Takaful faces market awareness challenge: Even some people who work in it don’t know what it does

By David Benyon, Scott McGee

The Takaful and Re/Takaful sector has an image problem and general lack of awareness about what it can do, according to speakers at DWIC 2019

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Seize opportunities coming to the UAE soon

Panellists on the final MENA session from day one of DWIC 2019 talked about new product opportunities the region could see soon.

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Healthcare tourism could be a strained market's saving grace

The health insurance market is struggling to keep up with demand, but a new trend has emerged, says Axa Global Healthcare’s Laurent Pochat-Cottilloux

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African markets waiting for a catalyst

Africa shows great growth potential, but it needs a push from insurers willing to take a chance

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Insurance wrappers for government bonds - Willis Re's Vickers on market opportunities

Fiscal pressure on governments could be one of re/insurance’s biggest opportunities, Willis Re International chairman James Vickers told DWIC 19 in Dubai

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Weak market leaves reinsurers under pressure

“Soft-hard” pricing after recent renewals leaves reinsurers under pressure, DWIC 2019 heard from a roundtable debate on the state of the market

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DWIC 2019: Day 2 live and free

Catch up with all the news from the Dubai World Insurance Congress 2019

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Reinsurers shifting focus from cat business – Axa XL’s Watson

Disruption to core catastrophe business is leading to a significant change in the global reinsurance market as reinsurers place greater emphasis on margin expansion in other lines of business, David Watson, chief executive international reinsurance at Axa XL told delegates at this year’s Dubai World Insurance Congress (DWIC).

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Construction will bounce back - Scor

Hedi Hachicha, Scor’s chief underwriting officer for property and casualty treaty business in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) talks new risks, construction demand, and effective regulation

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Signs of life in UAE energy construction market

After three years in relative hibernation, several energy construction projects loom for the UAE

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DWIC 2019: Day 1 live and free to read

Click through here to read the first day of GR’s coverage of the Dubai World Insurance Congress 2019

Middle East region

Saudi, UAE health market overcrowded, dropouts expected – Fitch Ratings

Fitch says the compulsory health insurance market is overcrowded and predicts the pressures on profitability will force out weaker players

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Health warnings amid profits for UAE insurers

2018 marked a second consecutive year of bumper profits for the UAE’s insurance market, according to an AM Best report

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Demand hugely untapped – Willis Re’s Vickers

The insurance sector has a lot to do if it wants to close the protection gap in Middle East markets, according to James Vickers, chairman of Willis Re International

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Big challenges face Middle East reinsurance market – Chedid Re

Compulsory lines are the only ones growing in the Middle East, causing commoditisation of products

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Aon highlights 8 cyber risk areas

Game-changing business opportunities are created, as well as risks, as companies continue to use technology to speed up information transfer, according to re/insurance broker Aon

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