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Sun 20 May 2007 02:02 AM

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Call to open insurance markets

WEF special: Former DFSA chairman says the region's market needs more foreign competition.

The former chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority has called for an opening of markets in the insurance sector.

Dr Habeeb Al Mulla, said that opening markets to foreign insurance companies would lead to healthier competition, better products and improved services for consumers.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in a session entitled ‘Insurance: securing the future’, Al Mulla said the step would not lead to dominance of a few influential companies. He the experience of the European Union which has been through the process and is home to 5300 insurance companies.

He said because many firms in the MENA region are small and retain little risks, premium flows out of the region through reinsurance transitions, particularly in major projects. He further said the MENA insurance market is small and underdeveloped in comparison to the EU

Al Mulla also called for laws to be modernized across the region, referring to the UAE where a new insurance authority has been established to regulate the sector.

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