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Bahrain set to host Middle East Takaful Forum

Manama, October 3, 2013

More than 250 leading players, key regulators and thought leaders in the regional Islamic insurance industry will gather in Bahrain on October 7 and 8 for the second annual Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2013).

The theme of the forum, which takes place at the Gulf Hotel, is 'Adapting to Change: Fresh Thinking to Boost the Efficiency, Profitability and Scale of Islamic Co-operative Insurance Players', reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

It is being held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and will provide a high-profile platform to discuss and assess new strategies for capitalising on the key growth drivers for the regional Islamic insurance industry and efficiently tackling the challenges posed by rising competition in the industry.

"Global takaful industry has been experiencing double-digit growth rates, with the GCC and Malaysia being the major drivers," METF chief executive David McLean said.

"A critical factor that will determine success in taking the industry to the next level of development will be the readiness of industry players to formulate and execute successful strategies in response to new market conditions and rapidly adapt to capture new emerging opportunities that will reignite growth levels.

"It is becoming increasingly imperative that takaful players in the Middle East get to grips with managing the challenges of an increasingly competitive takaful market, drive operational efficiencies and financial performance improvement in their business, and successfully shift to sound sustainable underwriting profitability - to build the capacity, capability and scale to profitably compete."

The second annual METF will be officially inaugurated on Monday with a special keynote address by CBB executive director for financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Al Baker.

Confirming his participation in the event and commenting on the CBB's support for METF, Al Baker said, "the GCC takaful market remains at the forefront of the global Sharia-compliant insurance industry.

"The latest industry data reveals that the GCC contributes more than 60 per cent of the gross takaful premiums globally and industry estimates project that the global takaful market will hit the $20 billion mark by 2017.

"However, achieving these projected growth levels requires the industry to address some of the fundamental challenges including competitive pressures, a lack of suitable Sharia-compliant investments, the shortage of expertise, and evolving regulations," said Al Baker.

He also went on to say that "the operators in the region must adapt their business to manage and stabilise their cost-profit situation and that maximising the industry's growth potential calls for the industry players, market participants and regulators to immediately address these challenges so that the industry can sustain its growth momentum and achieve further successful development."

"The CBB is once again delighted to host METF, which plays a key role in facilitating such dialogues," he said.

A key highlight of METF 2013 will be the highly-interactive power debate session which will focus on building capacity and capability to enable takaful and co-operative insurance operators to compete profitably.

The power debate led by Ernst & Young's Ashar Nazim, and featuring Medgulf Takaful executive director Ayman El Hout, SABB Takaful chief executive Adrian Flowers, Al Hilal Takaful chief executive Amer Daya and Solidarity General Takaful's Nandakumar Duraiswamy will discuss the key strategies that leading takaful players in the Middle East will need to adopt in order to overcome the barriers to sustained growth and long term profitability for the takaful industry in the Middle East and step up to the next level.

Ernst & Young will also be providing a preview of their upcoming Global Takaful Insight 2013 at the event.

METF 2013, which builds on the 10 years successful history of the Middle East Insurance Forum, is set to gather more than 250 high-level senior decision-makers from the regional insurance industry for discussions that will seek to ensure the long term profitability and stability of the takaful industry in the Middle East. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Central Bank |

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