Top reinsurers ‘eye Qatari foothold’
London, October 21, 2010
Some of the world's biggest reinsurers plan to open offices in Qatar, boosting the Gulf state's efforts to establish itself as a regional financial hub, the head of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) said.
They are expected to set up in Qatar within a year, Shashank Srivastava, acting chief executive, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
'We see a great uptake because they understand that by being in the region they are able to assess better, and are able to offer better pricing,' he said, declining to name the reinsurers because they are still in talks with the QFCA.
'We're talking to the top 10 reinsurers in the world,' he said.
The QFCA is spearheading efforts by Qatar to promote itself as a financial services centre for the middle east region in order to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels.
The resources-rich state hopes to attract reinsurers to help cater to the insurance needs of its thriving oil and construction sectors. It is also encouraging infrastructure firms to set up local 'captive' insurers -- insurance subsidiaries whose sole client is their parent company.
He said Qatar aimed to establish itself as an reinsurance hub for the Middle East between now and 2015, and could then look further afield, potentially rivalling global reinsurance centres such as Bermuda, Switzerland and Singapore.
'Our focus over the next five years is going to be making a regional hub for reinsurers and captives as well as the asset management industry. One step at a time,' he said. 'At the next stage, we could look at a global presence.' – Reuters