2012-09-06 08:05:10 - Oman Insurance Report Q1 2012 - a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com
Oma? s insurance sector does not compare favourably with its peers in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Twenty-one companies, including 10 local groups, are competing for total premiums that are still less than US$700mn per annum. As is the case in the rest of the region, none of the local companies have the benefits of economies of scale, nor, with the clear exception of al-Ahlia, which is an affiliate of global non-life major RSA Insurance, are any owned by major shareholders that have a clear competence in insurance. In most countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), small local groups tend to focus exclusively on non-life lines (particularly the basic areas such as motor and home/contents insurance).
Oman is unusual in that most of the local groups are composite insurers. Even al-Ahlia offers group life products. The regulatory regime dates back only to 2004. To date, Oma? s insurance sector has not participated in the growth of takaful - a key factor in the expansion of the much larger industries in the UAE and Saudi Arabia: nevertheless, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has given an in-principle approval to the establishment of the Sultanatas first sharia-compliant insurance company.
A strength is that the market is clearly open to foreign players. Majors that are present include AXA Gulf, Chartis and, since October last year (through its purchase of Compagnie Libanaise dAssurance), Zurich, as well as MetLife ALCIO. LIC and New India are serving Indians who live and work in Oman. There are also offshoots of much smaller firms based in the UAE and Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the results for H111 and the first nine months of 2011 that have been published by companies that are listed on the Muscat Securities Market continue to make rather depressing reading. Good growth in premiums written by Oman United Insurance and National Life & General Insurance (a subsidiary of ONIC Holdings) has been offset by a contraction in premiums at Dhofar Insurance, the leading company in the non-life segment with a market share of about 31%. Profitability has been curtailed by low retention ratios â a feature of much of the Middle East and North Africa â surging motor-related claims and unfavourable investment markets. There are no signs of catalysts for growth in non-life penetration or life density. The price of this market report covers 4 quarterly reports on this sector. This quarterly report will be downloadable instantly as a PDF document, with the 3 remaining reports delivered at regular intervals throughout the year.
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