BNH to push ahead with Gulf expansion
Manama, March 30, 2011
Insurance group Bahrain National Holding (BNH) has so far been unaffected by the recent unrest in the kingdom and is pushing ahead with its regional expansion plans.
The company is on target to at least repeat last year's performance, chief executive Mahmood Al Soufi said after the close of the company's annual meeting at its headquarters in Seef.
'We are not revising our budgets and there has been no change in our investment plans regionally or our continued investment in our core insurance business,' he said.
The company, the parent company of Bahrain National Insurance and Bahrain National Life Assurance, is continuing with its expansion plans to open in Qatar and hopes to have a licence for a branch in Doha in the next three months.
It is also going ahead with its investment in Bahrain Emerati in which it would hold a 30 per cent stake with an investment of BD10.5 million ($27.9 million).
Al Soufi said they were also looking at getting into the takaful market.
The company had considered doing this with a Greenfield development but were not looking to get into this side of the industry by an acquisition of a GCC business in which they would take a controlling interest with an investment of around BD2.5 million.
He was hopeful this could be completed this year and perhaps within six months.
'We are already in negotiations with a possible acquisition target,' he said.
'Maintaining our focused and prudent risk management practices were the key attributes towards achieving this year's rewarding results,' he added.
'We have strengthened our balance sheet, maintained profitability and protected our market share. We look forward to achieving our strategic business goals and meeting the challenges that lie ahead.'
BNH registered a net profit of BD3.814 million last year resulting in a 5 per cent increase in the group's net assets to BD42.157 million.
In light of the group's positive performance and rewarding results, the shareholders approved the year's results and the board's recommendation of distributing 20 per cent cash dividend paid at 20 fils per share.
'The proactive approach the group implemented previously has manifested itself in the positive financials achieved for this year,' said chairman Farouk Almoayyed.
'We strongly believe in our experienced team and effective strategies and are confident to say that today we are well positioned to sustain our growth organically, regionally and internationally,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service
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