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Axa unveils big Gulf investment plans

Manama, April 17, 2010

AXA, the biggest non-life international insurer in the GCC, will continue investing in the region and introduce innovative products as part of its strategy to 'become the most preferred insurer,' said a top official.

Outlining the company's future strategy, Jean Louis Laurent Josi, chief executive officer, Gulf and Middle East region, said the group was now all set to enter the mammoth Saudi market with its suite of personal and commercial line products.

'Our focus will be to continue to further develop our product offering, reward our claims free clients with good rates, attract and retain the right customers and employees and continue to invest in tools that will make life easier for our clients,' he noted.

Josi was speaking at a function to celebrate the group's 60 years of operation in the Bahrain and its 'strong partnership with the Kanoo family.'

Axa, which started its insurance activity in 1950 in the Kingdom, has come a long way starting from premiums of 23,000 rupees in 1950 to a turnover of almost half a billion dollars today, said Kanoo Group managing director Khalid Kanoo.

'Its customer base too has grown from a mere 50 to over 500,000 customers throughout the GCC,' he remarked.

AXA is the largest international player in the region and in the top 5 of the largest companies in terms of net earned premiums, he added.

According to Josi, Axa registered strong growth despite the challenging times with its gross written premium surging to over $445 million with nearly 8.6 per cent growth over previous year.

'All the GCC countries, except the UAE, reported a double digit growth between 15 to 26 per cent last year. In the UAE, business in Abu Dhabi rose by 25 per cent while Dubai was slightly down.'

'Our achievements have always been measured by the success of our clients, and we are pleased to offer creative ideas, global reach and highly flexible service capabilities, especially in Bahrain,' he added.

This year will be a challenging one with competitors trying to grab market share by 'aggressive means' but our focus will be on quality service, multi-distribution approach and launch of innovative products, Josi remarked.

According to him, Axa was now looking to boost its brand awareness in the region. The group, Josi said, had a major presence in all the Gulf countries except Kuwait.

'While we recognise that the economy is experiencing a time of extraordinary change, we will continue to invest in our future and use our 60 years of strength and experience to help our clients with customised insurance solutions and help emerge stronger than ever.

Jean-Laurent Granier, CEO of Axa Mediterranean & Latin America, said the group was not only marking a milestone year in Bahrain, but it was also the beginning of a new era of possibilities in the region and beyond.'

'As a leading name in the business across the globe, our 60 years of success in Bahrain is the direct result of a clear focus on customer service and knowledge of insurance products. Combined with a standing presence of over half a century and a strong partnership with the Kanoo family, we have the necessary experience and local know-how required to stay ahead of our competitors,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Kanoo | AXA |

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