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Foreign insurers more likely to lose ground in MENA than domestic players, finds survey

March 2016

March 14, 2016 | 14:00 | Dubai

More than one-third of insurance professionals of the MENA region in a survey expect the market share of foreign insurers to reduce, while around half of respondents expect the market share of foreign primary insurers to remain stable over the next 12 months. According to MENA Insurance Barometer 2016, an annual market survey published by the Qatar Financial Centre, 36% of executives interviewed expect that foreign insurers will lose or give up market share over the next 12 months, compared with only 11% a year ago. Interviewees point to some high-profile market exits and retrenchment measures as a result of massive underwriting losses. These moves could erode some local policyholders’ faith in global brands and favour domestic and regional market leaders who are increasingly expanding cross-border within the region, the survey said.

Also, some local insurers have stepped up their game, both in terms of underwriting capacity and expertise and say they have benefited from certain foreign insurers’ inability to adapt to local market conditions, needs and practices. The findings of the report are based on interviews with executives representing 36 regional and international (re)insurance companies, intermediaries and trade associations, covering 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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