GCC, Malaysia driving global takaful growth
Manama, October 18, 2012
The global takaful industry has been experiencing double digit growth rates, with the GCC and Malaysia being the major drivers, said an expert.
Although the GCC market remains at the top in terms of overall contributions, latest industry data reveals a deceleration in the growth rates, according to Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2012) chief executive David McLean.
"A critical factor that will determine the 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 opportunities that will re-ignite growth levels," he said at the opening of the METF 2012 in Bahrain yesterday.
"A key challenge for takaful operators will be to maintain growth momentum while boosting profitability and this calls for taking proactive steps and new thinking to overcome key challenges in order to sustain growth," he added.
A major highlight of METF 2012 was the industry leaders' keynote power debate.
The session was chaired by Ernst & Young Islamic finance services leader Ashar Nazim and featured International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) principal Peter van den Broeke.
METF 2012 continues with a series of sessions today and features exclusive discussions on financial performance improvement and operational efficiency priorities for Middle East takaful players and a country focus roundtable session that provides insights on tapping into the high-growth potential markets for takaful in the Middle East.
"A successful takaful industry, from a regulatory perspective, is the one that is, at a micro-level fair, safe and stable for the benefit of the policyholder and at a macro-level, is stable as a sector," said van den Broeke.
"The IAIS is very much interested in the developments concerning takaful and pressure on profitability in the takaful industry has been amplified by the unlevel playing field," he said.
"Of major interest to the IAIS is that takaful is well understood by insurance supervisors and is regulated consistent with international principles, notably the IAIS Insurance Core Principles, without affecting its unique features," he added.
"Some of the key challenges that the takaful industry currently faces amplify the importance of taking a concerted approach to the development of takaful and retakaful at the global level," said former chairman of the Malaysian Takaful Association Dato' Haji Syed Moheeb Kamarulzaman.
"Takaful products and services need to be accessible to more consumers and there is a need to have a greater range of products to meet wider public needs, so that the benefits of takaful can be made available to the global community.
"It is also important to maintain and enhance public confidence in takaful, supported by strong legal and regulatory infrastructure, robust risk management practices, comprehensive IT solutions and transparent disclosure and operating requirements," he added.-TradeArabia News Service