A market view of Qatar by Qatar Financial Centre Authority director of strategic development Akshay Randeva
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority is committed to positioning Qatar as a major financial services hub for reinsurance, captive insurance and asset management. As a testament to the success of this strategy, some of the world’s leading (re)insurance companies, including MetLife Alico, AXA, Allianz, Mitsui Sumitomo and Zurich Insurance Group, have already established a presence in Qatar to exploit local and regional growth opportunities.
The QFC offers distinct advantages over other locations. It provides an onshore operating environment where foreign insurers and reinsurers have full access to the rapidly growing domestic market. Current premium volume of about $1.1bn is projected to double over the next four to five years, driven not only by huge infrastructure and construction projects, but also by personal lines, which are boosted by compulsory insurance requirements and growing awareness.
More than 50% of this business is ceded to reinsurers, which is one of the world’s highest cession rates. Further, companies operating within the QFC can be 100% foreign owned, while there is a strong legal and regulatory framework based on international best practice. There are no restrictions on foreign currency transactions and profit remittances.
And QFC initiatives augment Qatar’s financial infrastructure and make it an ideal springboard into the wider region. For example, the Qatar Finance and Business Academy, and Qatarlyst, an e-trading platform.
The QFCA are sponsors of Global Reinsurance’s Monte Carlo Dailies