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Experts discuss ways to boost Takaful efficiency

Manama, October 8, 2013

Success in the takaful market is contingent on products with significant value propositions, transparency and adoption of best practices, experts said yesterday at the opening of a forum.

Convened under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the second annual Middle East Takaful Forum (METF 2013) got underway at the Gulf Convention Centre, Gulf Hotel.

More than 250 senior decision-makers from 100 organisations have gathered for discussions that will continue today.

"Key outcomes expected from the two-day event include revamped strategies for boosting efficiency, profitability and the scale of regional players," forum chief executive David McLean told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

"Recent reports indicate that the GCC market currently contributes more than 41 per cent of gross takaful premiums globally and there is tremendous growth potential yet to be realised," he said.

A key highlight of the forum yesterday was the power debate session which focused on building capacity and capability to enable takaful and co-operative insurance operators to compete profitably.

Ernst & Young partner and head of Islamic banking excellence centre Ashar Nazim led the session with participation from Medgulf Takaful executive director Ayman Adel El Hout, SABB Takaful chief executive Adrian Flowers, Al Hilal Takaful chief executive Amer Daya and Solidarity General Takaful head for underwriting Nandakumar Duraiswamy.

The experts outlined key strategies that takaful players will need to adopt in order to overcome the barriers to sustained growth and long-term profitability for the industry and step up to the next level.

"Underpinned by favourable demographics, development of supporting regulatory frameworks, growing affluence and the overall development of the international Islamic finance industry in high growth potential emerging markets, the Middle East takaful industry is poised for continued strong growth," said Daya.

"However, efficiency, profitability and scale remain critical imperatives for the industry and it is essential to find innovative solutions to manage the challenges of an increasingly competitive market, drive operational efficiencies and improve financial performance."

Medgulf Takaful chief executive Nader Al Mandeel said the region's takaful industry was rapidly moving beyond its niche status and had the potential to surpass conventional insurance in some key markets.

"However, a significant advantage that the conventional industry enjoys is economies of scale which the takaful industry is yet to achieve," he said.

"Due to this, it is essential that players focus on improving their operating performance and profitability to maintain stability."

The METF Exhibition being held on the sidelines of the conference was inaugurated by Al Baker.

Leading industry players are showcasing the latest Sharia-compliant insurance products, services and innovations in the exhibition.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Takaful | Islamic insurance |

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