Qatar Insurance Company Group (QIC) has posted a net profit of QR1.06bn in 2015 on “successful diversification into more geographies and lines of business” as well as its “continued cost discipline”.
The insurance major said the results “reflect regional economic and investment headwinds due to lower oil prices and continued softening of global reinsurance and specialty insurance markets”.
The results were announced after a meeting of the QIC board of directors presided over by Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Ali al-Thani, chairman and managing director in Doha yesterday.
The insurer had last month suggested a total of 35% dividend (25% in cash and 10% in bonus stocks) and also disclosed its intent to tap the secondary market through a 20% rights issue.
Al-Subaey: Proven resilience. Right: QIC headquarters at West Bay.
Gross written premiums (GWP) expanded 49% to QR8.35bn mainly on reinsurance premiums generated through QIC’s dedicated global reinsurance subsidiary, Qatar Re, which grew 116%, now accounting for 50% of the group’s total premium income.
Highlighting that 2015 was marked by a “sustained pace” of the group’s international expansion; it said “67% and 13% of overall gross written premiums are now sourced from outside Qatar and the Middle East, respectively.”
Against the backdrop of growing regional and global financial market volatility, QIC’s net investment result came in at QR712mn. This was partially offset by a very strong net underwriting result of QR926mn, a significant increase of 39% on the previous year.
Sheikh Khalid said, “We are optimistic about our outlook for 2016. With renewed focus on international expansion in areas of high potential, we aspire to be ranked amongst Global Top 50 insurance Groups by 2030.”
QIC Group president and chief executive Khalifa al-Subaey said, “2015 was a challenging year for Middle Eastern and a number of global investment markets. On the back of our excellent geographical and product diversification and sustained profitability of our insurance and reinsurance book, we have proven our resilience, successfully navigating through the turbulent waters in 2015.”
Buoyant personal lines markets in the Middle East and a rapid expansion into global specialty (re)insurance markets in particular have offset the impact from declining equity markets in the Middle East, he said.
QIC’s overall profitability also benefited from the group’s “continued cost discipline.” Return on equity stood at 18.1% against 18.4% in the previous year. This result compares favourably with both QIC’s regional peers as well as diversified international insurance and reinsurance groups.
At the end of 2015, QIC group’s shareholders’ equity was up 1% to QR5.99bn.
QIC Europe, the group’s fully-owned Malta-based subsidiary dedicated to underwriting risks across the European Economic Area has seen numerous new business opportunities throughout 2015 and has “developed partnerships with chosen MGAs and cover holders to support carefully selected portfolios.”
Antares, the specialist Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance group which QIC acquired in 2014, continued to broaden its global footprint by establishing a dedicated platform at Lloyd’s Asia in Singapore. In addition, Antares Lloyd’s Syndicate 1274 launched its new Property Direct & Facultative division.
In 2015, the group also established retail insurance operation in the UAE and Kuwait drawing on years of experience with corporate clients in the respective countries.
QIC has started making its personal insurance products directly available to individual customers under the theme ‘Global Insurance – Local Assurance’.
The offering includes a unique online platform, whereby customers can buy or manage their personal insurances (car, home, travel) from anywhere, at any time.
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